The Citizens of Los Angeles County
In December 1916 by
Captain Allan Hancock
With a request that the scientific features be preserved
First historic reference to the tar pools
Recorded in the diary of Caspar dePortola'
In August 3, 1769
Originally a portion of the Rancho LaBrea
Granted by Governor Alvarado 1840
Erected 1940 by Californiana Parlor 247 Native Daughters of the Golden West. (Marker Number 247.)
Over 11,000 years ago during the Pleistoncene period this area was teaming with wildlife of ancient animals such as American Mastodons, Saber Toothed Cats, Camels, Dire Wolves, Harlan's Ground Sloths, Western Horses, Ancient Bisons, and many species that still thrive today.
I have been coming to this area since I was a kid and I am still in awe of the tars pits. So if you have the chance just stroll around the huge tar pit lake, be sure to take in the rest of the park. Lots of wonderful areas to explore.
Your trip is not complete unless you visit the Page Museum. It is not a huge museum, but is very unique do to the fact they are still digging and finding fossils. The other very unique thing is you can see "Paleontology in Action!" They call it the Fishbowl Lab. It is a glass walled laboratory that lets visitors watch fossils being cleaned, studied, and prepared.
There is a wonderful Atrium that all visitors can walk thru and enjoy koi fish, Ginkgo tree, bamboo tree, and a variety of birds who make this there nesting place.
The exhibits include Bison, Camels, Condors, Coyotes, Dire Wolves, Gound Sloth, Horses, Mammoth (my favorite) and Smilodons. They are some of the best displays I have seen.
This is the site of a tarpit in midtown LA where for eons animals have been captured as they tried to drink what they thought was water. It is one of the richest site of fossils of extinct animals in the US.
At The La Brea Tar Pits
There are many attractions of greater Los Angeles- the lovely beaches, the hip happenings of Hollywood, the allure of the fashionable Westside and yes, there is the tar -of the La Brea Tar Pits! OK so the smell of tar is not as welcoming as that of the locally famous La Brea baked bread but certain the good old black stuff does bring 'em in!
Within a fantastic park perfect for a city stroll are tar pits and ancient fossil sites that are well preserved. Now, who says that L.A. does not appreciate what's old?
Read more on the La Brea Tar Pits , including the Page Museum on the website listed below!
On Wilshire Blvd, in the area of Los Angeles west of downtown and south of Hollywood, are the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum. The tar pits contain thousands of animal skeletons from the Pleistocene on, mostly to about 40,000-10,000 years ago. One can see open tar pits in the park and go to the museum, which contains numerous partial and complete skeletons taken from the tar pits. One can also go visit a pit which is currently being excavated. Visiting the park and the open, fenced-in pits is free, but one must pay to visit the museum and excavation pit. Skeletons found include huge numbers of dire wolves, plus sabre-tooth tigers, mastadons, bears, etc.
If you’d like to see a Saber Toothed Cat and Mammoths while in LA, stop by the Tar Pits on Wilshire Blvd. The animals were trapped in the pits and preserved there through the centuries. The accompanying museum explains the fossilization, shows full skeletons and describes the history of the area that lies below the massive city of Los Angeles.
The Tar Pits are open Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and kids aged 13-17, $2 for children aged 5-12 years and free for the little ones under 5 years old.
My bf and I + friends had a good amount of fun here. If anything, it is amazing how the tar preserves the dinosaur bones. I definitely recommend going for the very impressive skulls and bones of our world's history. Who knew that LA of all places would have something so historically interesting? Hehehe.
I would say, don't get your hopes up too much, because it is short and a little redundant after a while if you aren't really into dinosaurs. My bf and I had a blast because we found it so fascinating, but our friends seemed ready to go after half-way through. Thank goodness, it's the perfect length.
Tip: Make sure you park in the correct parking lot (instead of LACMA) so that you don't find yourself in a maze trying to find it.
La Brea Tar Pits are a famous cluster of tar pits located in Hancock Park in the urban heart of Los Angeles. Asphalt (colloquially termed tar, which in Spanish is termed brea, see below) has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years, forming hundreds of sticky pools that trapped animals and plants which happened to enter. Over time, the asphalt fossilized the remains. The result is an incredibly rich collection of fossils dating from the last ice age.
Located right in downtown LA, it is amazing to view the open black tar pits that preserved extinct ancient animals that once walked the earth in Los Angeles area.Included woolly mammoths, mastadoons, sabre toothed cats and giant sloths and other prehistoric mammals.
The nearby museum tells what this place was like millions of years ago and worth the admission fees. As it is a research and working museum, we could see recovered fossils, the cleaning and preservation process.
There is the LA County Museum of Art across the street. So if one prefer art and the other prefer lost animals, this is where you can temporarily split out with your travel group and meet again.
Museum hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm, Sat, Sun & Holidays: 10am-5pm
Closed on: July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year Day.
Admission: Free on first Tue.
Seniors 62 and older & Students ith I.D.: $4.50
Youths 13-17: $4.50
Children 5-12: $2.00
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