Abandoned Zoo Ruins - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Abandoned Zoo Ruins

Roam the grounds of L.A.'s long-lost city attraction, former home of Ivan the Terrible.

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to stand on the inside of a zoo's cages, looking out?

Join Atlas Obscura for a walking tour of the abandoned animal haunts of the L.A. Zoo, closed since 1966. Serving as the city zoo from 1912 to 1966, the site under Bee Rock is now filled with fascinating ruins, empty animal enclosures, "natural" habitats, secret stairways and paths. At its peak, the L.A. Zoo contained thousands of animals and hosted tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Led by Field Agent Hadley Meares, you'll recount tales of individual animals, such as the murderous polar bear Ivan the Terrible, and Topsy, the camel with two broken humps. You will also hear about the zoo's troubling history and chart the different phases of the zoo's development. This fascinating history will be discussed as you hike around the site and visit the enclosures so many lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) once paced, many moons ago.

Please note that the zoo ruins are located in Griffith Park and are open to the public. This event provides a unique, guided experience, exclusively for Atlas Obscura.


  • This is a one hour hiking tour. Dress accordingly.
  • Water and sun protective wear are encouraged!
  • Exact meeting location will be emailed to confirmed attendees. 


Email Hadley Meares at hadley@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All sales are final.