May 18, 2011

Photo Essay: Griffith Park's Old Zoo

It's been at least a year since I've wanted to try to find the old zoo grounds in Griffith Park, one of my favorite places in LA.

As amazing as Griffith Park is, I haven't been able to find any good maps of its many hiking trails, and the trails themselves are rarely marked. So each visit has been kind of an adventure, juggling hiking guide books, hand-drawn maps, blog post printouts, and this time, my Blackberry to try to find the right way.

This time, it was actually relatively easy to find the Old Zoo, now that I knew where to look.

And boy, was it creepy.

The Los Angeles Zoo was formerly located off a trail near the Merry Go Round parking lot from 1912 to 1965. Its 1930s structures were deemed no longer appropriate for humanely housing animals, and the zoo moved about two miles north, still within the park. Many of the original structures - cages, grottos, buildings - and their foundations still remain, and have been preserved as not only a reminder of the past, but also a quirky place to picnic.

For more glimpses into Griffith Park, see:
Bee Rock
Amir's Garden
Bronson Caves
Bird Sanctuary to Mount Hollywood
Mount Lee to the Hollywood Sign
Observatory Trail

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