Hogle Zoo

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Hogle Zoo is definitely one of our favorite adventures to do year round in Utah. Hogle Zoo is located in Salt Lake, and it is a fabulous zoo. There are so many great exhibits, shows, and fun things to see and do. It is a fun adventure for all ages, especially for the animal lovers.

This is the route that we walk through Hogle Zoo because our boys don’t want to miss one animal. Make sure to check out the shows for the day, so you can catch at least one while visiting the zoo.

There are lots of animals to see at the Hogle Zoo.

African Savannah

This is the newest part of the zoo and the first area that you see when you arrive. There is a large area where the giraffes, ostriches, zebras, guinea fowl, and more hang out together. The large viewing area makes it easy to see all the animals.

Right next door are the lions. There are males and females, and our boys love the large cats. This is one of their favorite parts of the zoo. In the winter, the lions sit on the stones right next to the window because they are heated, so you can get a great look at them.

The African Savannah is a large area of the Hogle Zoo.
We love seeing the lions so close.

Ape House & Elephants

The next area has a large ape house where you can see gorillas and orangutans. On warmer days, these larges apes will be outside, too. There are also lots of little monkeys on display near the large apes.

The elephant enclosure is quite large, but it’s fun to see these beautiful elephants outside playing around. They have elephant feedings, so check the schedule and try to catch a show.

There was a baby gorilla when we visited the zoo last.
The elephants are fun no matter the season.

Playground & Splash Pad

The next large area in Hogle Zoo is their playground and splash pad. This area is only open in good weather, but it is a fun place for children. There are lots of places to climb and explore, and the splash pad gets everyone plenty wet, which is really nice on those hot summer days. We wrote a whole post about this area when it was first added to the zoo, so you can read more details here.

The playground has lots of space to play.
The splash pad has lots of places to get wet.

Rocky Shores

The Rocky Shores exhibits have lots of water mammals. There are polar bears, otters, seals, grizzly bears, bald eagles, and others. We loved watching the large polar bears play in the water. It is such a fun sight to see. Our boys are also fans of the seals and sea lions. They put on fun shows, too.

When the polar bears are out doing laps, it is the best.
The seals and sea lions swim right past the glass.

Asian Highlands

I know that we have said every part of the zoo is our favorite, but the Asian Highlands is probably the real favorite. Here you will find all of the large cats including tigers and leopards. They are fascinating to watch, even when they are laying down on warm summer days. We really love visiting the cats in the winter time because they are very active.

The tigers are always more active in the winter.
The red pandas are so cute.

Reptile House

In the winter, the reptile house is the place to visit to warm up. In the summer, this warm, humid building can feel sweltering. But you don’t want to skip it because there are a lot of animals in this house. Our boys have to find every single animal in every single cage in the building, so we end up spending a lot of time in here.

There are lots of reptiles, but many other things, too, including bats, meerkats, a variety of birds, porcupines, cats, etc. You will be out of the elements inside weather it’s the sun or the cold. So make sure to walk through the reptile house.

The boys have to look at every animal inside.
There are small reptiles, but plenty of other things, too.
We love all the small mammals inside the reptile house.

Don’t skip the train and carousel. These rides cost a few extra dollars/person to ride, but they are a lot of fun, especially for the younger crowd. The carousel is still one of my kids favorite things to do at the zoo and they are teenagers. They love picking out their favorite animals to ride.

The train ride goes around the African Savannah and through some other smaller areas of the park where there is no walking route. You even get to see an old mining town and graveyard.

Our boys always want to ride the carousel.
The zoo train is a short little ride.
Our family loves riding the train.

North American Animals

If you look at the map, you will notice that we didn’t mention this area of the zoo. That’s because it is the area that we most often skip. The North American animals are behind the Asian Highlands and Reptile House. You can walk up the hill and see some goats and sheep, as well as different types of birds. It seems like a steep climb for not that exciting of stuff, but if you want to hit every part of the zoo, you will want to take the loop from the tigers and up around. Then you’ll come back to visit the carousel and reptile house.


There are restrooms all over the park, as well as restaurants and snack shops. You are allowed to bring your own food and drink into the park. We usually arrive right when Hogle Zoo opens. Then we spend 3-4 hours exploring and we bring water and snacks for our kids. When we are done, we grab lunch outside of the zoo and head home. You could also pack a lunch, and bring it in. This is how we save money at the zoo.

Parking is free. There is a large lot right in front of the zoo, and a large overflow lot across the street.

There are strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs available to rent. If you have little ones, you will definitely want to come prepared with a stroller or wagon because their little legs will get tired.

We highly recommend checking the daily schedule and visiting a show. We have enjoyed all of the shows that we have watched at Hogle Zoo.

There are different shows throughout the day, so check the map when you arrive.

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