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La Brea Tar Pits

Vacation Travel Guide
La Brea Tar Pits featuring a statue or sculpture, a pond and a park

Step back in time to a harsh and unforgiving prehistoric Los Angeles, and walk near the footprints of extinct Ice Age animals.

Columbian mammoths, saber-toothed cats and mastodons once roamed the LA landscape in search of shelter and prey. Until 11,000 years ago the area that is now Hancock Park on the Miracle Mile was an ancient wilderness of exotic mammals and plants. Hundreds of these now-extinct species were well preserved in the cluster of tar pits.

Many small animals, birds and insects became immobilized in the thick, sludge-like asphalt or tar that seeps up from the ground. The viscous liquid is an excellent preservative and bones, teeth, shells, insect exoskeletons and even some plants seeds have been extracted from the pits.

There are more than 100 of these bubbling pools of tar spread across Hancock Park, and they are among the world’s richest sources of knowledge about life in the Ice Age. They are fenced off to prevent inquisitive visitors from suffering the same fate as the animals, but there are viewing stations nearby.

Scientists have been pulling bones out of the ground here for more than a century and many are on display at the Page Museum, a prehistoric treasure chest that provides a window into Pleistocene and Ice Age California.

The museum has more than a million fossils from more than 650 species, and exhibits include skeletons of mammoths, sloths, wolves and a saber-toothed cat. The museum is more than just a collection of bones. Visitors can watch paleontology as it happens. Excavations of the ground are ongoing and the museum’s Fishbowl Lab lets you watch scientists as they clean, identify, tag and put fossil pieces together.

The La Brea Tar Pits are located about seven miles (11 kilometers) west of downtown on Wilshire Boulevard. There is paid parking directly behind the museum on the corner of Sixth Street and Curson Avenue. The museum is open every day with the exception of major holidays.

Top Hotels Close to La Brea Tar Pits

Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
2 out of 5
6001 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
The price is NT$5,087 per night from Aug 5 to Aug 5
Located in Fairfax District, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Grove, La Brea Tar Pits, and Farmers Market. Melrose Avenue and Los Angeles County ...
3.8/5Good! (991 reviews)
"Such a cute stay! Close location to shopping and food, the staff was so nice and kind! Will stay here again."

Reviewed on 2021/7/27

Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
Wilshire Orange Hotel
Wilshire Orange Hotel
2 out of 5
6060 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA
Located in Mid-Wilshire, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Petersen Automotive Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Grove and Museum of the ...
2.8/5 (23 reviews)
"Dear Escopedia, When we choose to travel with you, we trust you I was surprised at the hotel, could not sleep one night, I was sitting on the chair,, In the morning I called and told them I was leaving Because it is very dirty and unfit for human habitation I crashed into such a hotel in Los Angeles ..."

Reviewed on 2021/7/28

Wilshire Orange Hotel
Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
6317 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Fully refundable
The price is NT$6,868 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 30
Located in Beverly Grove, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Petersen Automotive Museum, Wilshire Boulevard, and Los Angeles County Museum of ...
4.2/5Very Good! (929 reviews)
"Staff were super friendly and accommodating. Hotel is very clean and while they do not have everyday room service, if you request it the night before they will give you a specific time slot for cleaning the next day. Location is very close to The Original Farmer’s Market which we loved, La Brea Tar ..."

Reviewed on 2021/7/25

Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in La Brea Tar Pits

La Brea Tar Pits


Best Lodging Options Near La Brea Tar Pits

Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
2 out of 5
6001 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
The price is NT$5,087 per night from Aug 5 to Aug 5
Park Plaza Lodge Hotel
Wilshire Orange Hotel
Wilshire Orange Hotel
2 out of 5
6060 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA
Wilshire Orange Hotel
Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
6317 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
The price is NT$6,868 per night from Aug 30 to Aug 30
Kimpton Hotel Wilshire, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.