Sunday, May 19, 2013

Griffith Park Hike – The Los Angeles Zoo - May 19, 2013

Griffith Icon Most of my hikes in Griffith Park are on dusty trails to destinations like its peaks or an event at the observatory. But today’s hike was very different. On one hand, it did involve walking miles on wide trails, being among plants, wildlife, streams, and waterfalls, and enjoying the great outdoors. But on the other hand, the trails are paved, the plants grow in meticulously landscaped gardens, the wildlife lives in enclosures, and the water features were man made. Whether or not a day at the Los Angeles Zoo can be considered a real hike is certainly up for debate. But since it is my blog, I’ll call today’s romp in Griffith a hike!

The occasion for the day was to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. I’ve not been to the L.A. Zoo in more the 20 years, so this was a splendid opportunity to explore another dimension of our amazing Griffith Park. The party included my daughter, her friend, my wife, and me.

A couple years ago I thoroughly enjoyed reading Griffith Park: A Centennial History, by Mike Eberts. The history of Griffith Park is fascinating, as is the colorful life of its namesake, Col. Griffith J. Griffith. The Griffith Park Zoo opened in 1912 with 15 animals and was quite primitive by today’s standards. But a great city needs a great Zoo just as it needs a great park. The process of planning the new zoo took years and involved the consideration of various sites, including Elysian Park. But in the end, providence prevailed and the new, world-class Los Angeles Zoo opened its doors in Griffith Park, November 28, 1966.

We paid our admission ($17 each) and walked through the entry gate at 11 a.m. to begin our adventure. My daughter was here last year, and since today is her birthday, she led our meandering through the zoo. I was soon impressed that even if there were no animals here, the exquisite botanic gardens could thoroughly entertain me for the day.

Here are some photo highlights of our day at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park:

Epilog - Another enjoyable adventure in my beloved Griffith Park! icon

Griffith Icon  See Hiking Griffith Park at Dan's Hiking Pages (includes links to my other blog posts for hiking in Griffith Park)

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