Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#158: The Old L.A. Zoo

The forecast for this past Saturday was rain, and although there was an ominous dark cloud to the north, we decided to take our chances and head to the Old L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park. Thankfully the rain held off, and we had an awesome time exploring the nooks and crannies of the old zoo.

The zoo is spooky, sad and beautiful at the same time. The small cells made of concrete and wire must have been depressing for the animals that used to be housed here. The area is surrounded by a large grassy clearing with picnic tables, and there are even a couple of tables inside one of the larger animal enclosures. After you finish eating, you can walk up the stairs of one of the cages if you dare. (I read somewhere that people used to dump dead bodies here!)

Scary stairs that you may or may not want to go up

For a little more exploration, go up the hill to the back of the enclosures, find a spot in the chain link fence that is broken, and duck inside for an aerial view of the clearing. Here you'll find even more cages and graffiti.

Duck in here to see more of the grounds

The zoo is a little off the beaten path, so follow these directions to get there:

Coming from the South on Crystal Springs Drive (the one that is parallel to the 5 freeway), go past the road that goes to the Merry Go Round, and then take a left onto Griffith Park Drive. Go past the playground on the left and take the road that ends in a parking lot. You can park here for free and then walk up the stairs to a clearing where the old zoo is.

L.A. half stormy, half sunny. Good thing we were in the sunny part.
A giant wolfhound spotted!
Brad trying to decipher the graffiti

Have you been to the Old L.A. Zoo? What did you think about it? Leave me a comment below!

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  1. Luv exploring this place kinda creepy which makes it more fun spooky!

  2. I went to that zoo as a child. (born in 52) I always wondered what happened to it.. I lived in Lincoln Heights and saw the houses across the street from us torn down to build the 5 fwy one being my grandmas house.I recall being frightened because I thought the animals from the zoo were now going to know how to get to my house if they ever escaped.I also recall a small amusement park off riverside dr. I think called Kiddyland where the fwy now stands and an ice cream parlor with a LARGE ice cream cone for a sign.I think called Currys.