October is a Great Time to Visit the Old Zoo in Griffith Park

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Thousands of people visit Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to see the view from atop the mountain at the world-famous Griffith Observatory. While that’s a tourist magnet, Griffith Park also has something locals and tourists should see: The Old Zoo.

It’s not every day you get to see—and walk through—an abandoned zoo. It’s a small zoo full of empty cages and caves covered in graffiti, and many people like to bring their cameras and take pictures.

To find The Old Zoo, start off at the Carousel parking lots. Walk toward the grassy field and hills, where you’ll see a path. It’s an easy 15-minute walk up the path to the zoo.

The first things you’ll see upon entering the zoo area are large stone enclosures featured in the bear battle scenes of the movie Anchorman. Then, you can peek inside and look for a narrow, crumbling staircase behind a door. See where it leads, if you dare. Visitors have described wandering around the abandoned zoo as both cool and creepy. You can sneak through holes in fences to explore dim, dirty cages and caves.

It’s best to wear closed-toe shoes or boots to explore the ruins, rather than flip-flops. Also, don’t wear fancy clothes because there’s a chance you’ll get some dirt on whatever you’re wearing.

The Old Zoo has some picnic tables in front of the stone enclosures, and an adjacent field is home to Shakespeare in the Park, taking place at dusk during the summer months.

While the area is often visited by people, be on the lookout for snakes and/or coyotes if you visit The Old Zoo—it is, after all, surrounded by nature and wildlife.