La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum
Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles lies one of the world’s most
famous Ice Age Fossil sites, Rancho La Brea Tar Pits. The La Brea Tar Pits, along with the
George C. Page Museum, are located in Hancock Park, downtown Los Angeles. Fearsome
Saber tooth Tigers, Huge Mammoths, Giant Ground Sloths, Fierce Dire Wolves, and countless
other animals, were trapped in Hancock park’s bubbling asphalt starting around 40,000 years ago.
We decided to go to the Tar Pits and The Page Museum on a whim one day. It was a rainy day and
not a good day for outside activities. Since we were a little worried about it raining harder, we wandered
around the tar pits first. The pits bubbled occasionally, reminding us of thousands of animals that have been
trapped over 40,000 years. There are on-going excavations in
the park, as well as pits that have fossils still in the ground. There is also a Pleistocene garden
that was planted with plants to resemble the Los Angeles area during the ice age. The garden was
constructed based on seeds found in one of the pits.
After wandering around outside, we went into the George C. Page
Museum. The museum does a fantastic job of showcasing the fossils excavated
right there at Rancho La Brea. Over 3 million fossils have been discovered so far in the tar
pits, and they are still excavating currently. You can even see real live archaeologists
working in the fishbowl lab, inside the Page Museum. The museum displays are well laid out
and very educational. They also have a good short film that gives an overview of the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits
and Page Museum. My kids liked playing with the interactive tar exhibit,
where you can feel what it would be like to be trapped in the tar and how difficult it would be to get
You can wander about in Hancock Park for free, but it is definitely worthwhile to take some
time to explore the George C. Page Museum. We only had a couple of hours there and it was not
nearly enough time. We plan on going back the next time we head to Los Angeles for sure!
You can find the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum in Hancock Park,
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036