The abandoned zoo

I’ve never really been one to have an itinerary or have a “must-do” plan while traveling, but I had been to California a couple of times before and I knew it was full of things to see so this trip had to be an exception, especially since we were only going to be there for a week… though I only consider it 5 days since I don’t count the days we’re in transit. 

I stumbled across a vlog by the Dudesons where they explored ”LA’s Abandoned Zoo”, and I knew I had to see it for myself! I have to admit that their vlog made it look much more epic and exclusive since it looked like they had to trespass (which really peaked my interest) but it was still totally worth checking out and super easy to get to! 


A little backstory

The Abandoned Zoo, also known as the Griffith Park Zoo opened in 1912 and originally housed 15 animals. It grew by the 1930s with most of the enclosures in caves with iron bars, though it was consistently criticized for being small, ugly, under-financed, and dirty. This zoo eventually closed in 1966 and the animals were transferred to the new LA Zoo close by.

The Abandoned Zoo is still a part of Griffith Park and is open to the public. Picnic benches were even installed in some of the enclosures making it a perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. Best of all? Admission is free

Graffiti-covered walls

No matter where you are in the world, blank walls will always get graffiti-ed at one point or another, especially if the area isn’t in use anymore; that’s the case for the Abandoned Zoo. I’m a huge fan of street art and graffiti, and I could spend hours looking at every single word/drawing if I had the chance. The sun was burning that day, making the enclosures somewhat suffocating so we didn’t have toooooo much time to hang around, and maybe it was for the best because I forgot what happens in abandoned/unused places: mischief. 

I might be making myself sound ages older than I actually am, but it’s really unpleasant to be in an enclosed space with limited air, breathing in various remnants of bodily fluids… I won’t say what kinds because it was, well, all kinds. 

Don’t let that stop you, though! It’s just something that caught me off guard. It’s still 100% worth looking around! It almost feels like modern archaeology, and I love how the graffiti transformed the place.

Some practical info:

  • Bring comfortable shoes and water for your walk, especially if it’s a hot day!

I’ll be posting more LA-based vlogs and blog posts soon! 

Have you ever explored an abandoned place? Where was it?!

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