La Brea Tar Pits


Between 40,000 and 10,000 years before city planners sought to bury Los Angeles under ribbons of asphalt, the gooey, tar-like substance was already wreaking havoc on the local population, which at that time consisted of at least 200 species of Ice Age birds, reptiles, insects, and mammals. As rain fell, the water would cover the asphalt seeps, disguising them as harmless freshwater ponds. When animals came to drink, they were mired in the sticky stuff, caught for posterity. Paleontologists are still freeing their bones from the tarry muck. Today, you can wander the area of the tar pits, preserved as a park and adorned with sculptures of the most gigantic mammal species unearthed there. Be sure to take in the Page Museum, where you can watch researchers in their ongoing study of the fossils, test your strength against the power of the tar, and see numerous skeletal remains of saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, mastodons, one human female, and an entire wall of dire wolf skulls. Open Monday through Friday 9:30 AM to 5 PM; Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 13-17, students with valid ID, and seniors (62+), and $2 for children ages 5-12. Free for members and children under 5. Admission is also free on the first Tuesday of each month. Parking is $6 with validation from the museum.


5801 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036


34.06264300, -118.35503600
Visit Website
(323) 934-7243

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