This picnic spot is located just north of the merry-go-round on the east side of Griffith Park, and boasts dozens of shaded picnic tables and BBQ grills, as well as a large grassy field for running around. [2]

Old Zoo Picnic Area

But what makes this picnic area truly special are the abandoned animal enclosures that dot the surrounding hillside. Once home to the second Los Angeles Zoo, these rusting cages and exhibits offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history.

Old Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

It’s a unique experience to dine alongside old bear grottos and monkey cages, and it’s sure to make for some unforgettable memories.

If you’re looking for a more active day out, Griffith Park offers plenty of hiking trails and other attractions to explore. But for a peaceful and quirky picnic experience, the Old Zoo Picnic Area is hard to beat. So pack a picnic basket and head on over to this one-of-a-kind destination! [4]

History of Old Zoo Picnic Area

Old Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

The Old Zoo Picnic Area is the former location of the Los Angeles Zoo, which was abandoned in 1966 when the current LA zoo opened [3]. Today, the abandoned animal cages and exhibits remain, and some of them have been turned into picnic benches, making for a unique picnic experience.


Apart from picnicking, visitors can also take a hike along a short loop trail that offers a bird’s eye view of the old zoo’s grounds [7]. The total loop distance is 3.8 miles, and it’s a great way to explore the area’s history and enjoy the natural scenery.

Things to keep in mind: While the Old Zoo Picnic Area is a fun and exciting place to visit, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

First, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes and other wildlife [10]. Second, remember to take only photos and leave no trace. Finally, stay on the trails and enjoy yourself!

From exploring the abandoned animal cages to hiking along the short loop trail, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack a picnic lunch, grab your hiking shoes, and head out to the Old Zoo Picnic Area for a day of fun and adventure.

@ghosttownpod Old LA Zoo: Part 1. @thejasonhorton #abandoned #historic #lazoo #oldlazoo #filminglocation #haunted #fyp #urbex #zoo #abandonedplaces #movielocation ♬ original sound – Ghost Town


Why was the old LA Zoo abandoned?

The old LA Zoo, was abandoned due to issues such as overcrowded cages, animal mistreatment, and other structural flaws. In 1916, the Health Department nearly shut down the zoo when they learned its sewage was draining into the Los Angeles River.

During World War I, a meat shortage left the city unable to properly care for the animals, and several died. The zoo was closed down officially in 1966 with the opening of the new Los Angeles Zoo that was just 2 miles away from its original location.

What happened to the old zoo in Los Angeles?

After its closure, the old LA Zoo remained abandoned for many years until the 1980s when it was renovated and turned into a picnic area with hiking trails in Griffith Park.

Many of the surviving structures, such as animal enclosures and cages, were built in the 1930s and can still be seen today.

How do I get to the abandoned zoo in LA?

The old LA Zoo, or Griffith Park Zoo, is located within Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. To get there, you can use your preferred mapping tool to find the exact location of the Old Zoo Picnic Area. Parking is available at the picnic area, and there are multiple hiking trails nearby to explore the area.

Can you go into the old LA Zoo?

Yes, visitors can go into the old LA Zoo, now known as the Old Zoo Picnic Area. The area is open to the public for picnicking and hiking, and visitors can explore the ruins of the animal enclosures and cages. However, visitors should exercise caution as some of the structures may be unstable or unsafe.

Why does the L.A. Zoo have no animals?

Contrary to the query, the L.A. Zoo does have animals. Sometimes animals may not be visible to the public due to weather conditions or other reasons.

What year did the old LA Zoo close?

The old LA Zoo was closed in 1966. It was built in the 1930s but abandoned due to issues such as overcrowded cages, animal mistreatment, and other structural flaws. The abandoned facility has since been turned into a picnic area.