Old Zoo at Griffith Park
You know, we try to find new things and stuff to to off the beaten tracks wherever we go – and free stuff. The last time I was in LA I did a lot of research on what to do. One thing people online were talking about was The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, often also referred to as the “Abandoned Zoo”. Sounded pretty interesting, so I wanted to see it on my own. It also sounded like it’s something you gotta find first, something that’s a hidden gem only few are able to find, maybe a little creepy. But none of that was the case.
First of all: It’s not very hard to find the abandoned cages of the zoo, as long as you’re taking the right entrance to Griffith Park. Just punch into your GPS “4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027”. Once in there, just follow the signs (or your GPS) leading to the Merry-Go-Round. Pass it and take the last parking lot on the right. From there I just recommend to use Google Maps to find the exact spot, cause you’ve got to cross a park and can’t see the abandoned cages right away. It’s worth sacrificing a bit of roaming data too.
Being in front of the cages of the 1912 opened and with 15 animals equipped zoo you’ll soon notice that there is nothing really eerie about it. After it was closed 1966, when people finally noticed that the way the animals were kept (caves-with-iron-bars-style) was inept and the new zoo (just two miles away) was opened, it was turned into a picnic area. And even though it’s located in a remote and relatively quiet area of Griffith Park, there are always tourists, runners or kids, which takes away a bit of the abandoned feeling too. But still, it’s worth to go there. And here is why:
Even though most of the ruins themselves are kept graffiti-free, there’s a lot of colorful tags you can see in the areas you’re not really allowed to go (and kept from by iron bars), you can stand there and just daydream yourself back to the 1920ies and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of a fashion shooting held there or some filming going on. Be sure not to visit only the first few caves but also the cages at the and of the path and also explore the area behind the caves. Griffith Park is just so beautiful and this spot is as well; in it’s very own kind.
How to get there:
Seriously: We recommend you to just use GPS or some sort of navigation map. Griffith Park is jut too huge and you don’t want to get lost in there, do you?
Entrance at Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027