Obscura Society LA: Abandoned Zoo Photo Mission - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Obscura Society LA: Abandoned Zoo Photo Mission

Join us for an exploration of the photogenic old animal enclosures at LA's old zoo in Griffith Park

Grab your camera, a picnic lunch, and your friends join us at one of Los Angeles' most photogenic spots: the old abandoned zoo in Griffith Park.

Opening in the early days of the city in 1912 the Zoo at Griffith Park was home to Los Angeles' menagerie until 1966. Today the empty lion dens and rusting bars of painfully tiny enclosures sit quietly rotting away.

If you've never been, the old zoo is truly one of LA's hidden treasures. At turn spooky and decaying but also beautifully landscaped and inviting to the explorer.

We explored at the zoo recently and found ourselves wishing we had packed the big guns, camera wise - so we've decided to go back and give it the glamor treatment it deserves.

We hope you'll join us in documenting this decaying wonder, and share your shots with us when we return.

Bring your camera and a picnic to enjoy while we share a short history of the zoo before we explore!


Sunday February 24, 11am-1pm
Address: Old Zoo Picnic Area, Griffith Park Drive, Griffith Park
Directions: The old zoo area is not well marked and can be easy to miss. PLEASE NOTE: Google Maps pin is CLOSE to the zoo, but not accurate. Follow these directions: Enter the park at Crystal Springs Drive off of Los Feliz, drive about 1.4 miles then turn left onto Griffith Park Drive. Keep left past three intersections, and the zoo is in a clearing in the trees to the left. There should be a small amount of parking nearby, or it is possible to walk from one of the larger parking areas.
Wear shoes and clothes for trekking around out of doors on uneven ground. The zoo area is large and on a sloping hillside, so be prepared to climb around.