Pandamonium: National Zoo & Rock Creek Park

  • June 14, 2014 · 10:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

The giant panda cub Bao Bao is now on exhibit! She's spending much of her time in the trees of her outdoor exhibit, so we might get lucky and spot her...

Let’s go to the zoo and take a pleasant walk around Rock Creek Park!

The route: From our meetup point between the two lions at the west gate, we’ll enter along Olmstead Walk and spend about an hour in the zoo checking out the animals before reforming our group at the Giant Cat Exhibit and heading into Rock Creek Park. Those who want to see Giant Panda Mei Xiang and her cub Bao Bao should turn right onto the Asia Trail immediately after entering the zoo. The Asia Trail is designated one way west to east: visitors enter the panda house from the west entrance, by the red panda exhibit, and exit the east entrance.

Leaving the zoo, we'll walk upstream along Rock Creek to Boulder Bridge, where we'll cross and walk south to the vicinity of Peirce Mill, turn right onto Melvin Hazen Trail, and then left onto Connecticut Avenue to return to our starting point at the Olmstead entrance to the zoo.

The route is about 5.2 miles of smiles and should take about 2.5 hours to complete, since we'll be walking kind of slow inside the zoo. The surface is mostly paved, with some dirt paths in Rock Creek Park.

Google map: http://tinyurl.com/k3a4j7j

How to get there: The National Zoo is located south of Rock Creek Park at 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. For Metro riders, the zoo is equidistant from Cleveland Park and Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Stations; a 0.4 mile walk south or north along Connecticut Avenue, respectively, will take you to the west zoo entrance. If you drive, the entrance to the zoo’s parking lots is at Connecticut Ave and N Rd, and parking is $16 for 3 hours or $22 for longer. (Yikes!) You're better off looking for free parallel street parking to the west of Connecticut Ave along Woodley or Cathedral Ave NW.

More here: http://tinyurl.com/pbq88aq 

What to bring: Water and comfy shoes. Only service animals are allowed in the zoo, so your furry friend must stay behind. The forecast is mostly sunny and a high of 84 degrees, so don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses. As a reminder, this is a kids-free zone, no one under 18 years of age is permitted.

Administrative stuff: There are restrooms and drinking fountains just inside the park at the Visitor Center, further to the east at the picnic pavilion near the Great Cats exhibit, and near Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park.

Cost: Free!!

Notes:

• Zoo website: http://tinyurl.com/4soyu 

• Zoo map: http://tinyurl.com/ofqgsra

• Giant Pandas: http://tinyurl.com/ogj5yb6

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  • Yelena

    Excellent!

    1 · June 15, 2014

  • Edna

    John THANK YOU so much. What a treat to see all the precious "bobbleheads" in our zoo! ...By the way, to all the fathers in our group, HAPPY, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY. You all are profoundly appreciated.

    2 · June 14, 2014

    • Edna

      ...hey, not that zoo and fathers are necessarily correlated...

      2 · June 14, 2014

    • Skysusan

      This is why we love you Edna! Sky

      June 14, 2014

  • Jim

    Thanks for another five-star tromp, John! I was relieved that I didn't see any of the pandas doing anything indecent.

    4 · June 14, 2014

    • Skysusan

      Wow, you missed it? :) sky

      2 · June 14, 2014

    • Diana B.

      You missed the ducks! That was wild shal I say....

      2 · June 14, 2014

  • Rebecca W.

    I'm going to have to cancel. I've been sick for two days. Sad I'm going to miss it. :-(

    June 14, 2014

  • Sheri R

    What a great idea to walk around the zoo on a perfect day! You reminded me how much there is to see and how easy it is to get there. Thanks, John.

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Skysusan

    Thank you John... another lovely day! I'll be away visiting my brother next weekend, plus some of the Aussie kids, so I'll miss out on your hikes... back soon :) hugs, sky

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • ML M.

    John never fails as an excellent organizer

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • John M

    Just right! Thanks for a great visit to the zoo!

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • Skysusan

    I didn't get lost! sky

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • Brenda

    Zoo + woodsy trail + perfect weather! (and friendly folks)

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Bjarne S.

    It was a fun day seeing the animals, the weather was perfect.

    2 · June 14, 2014

  • Cathy D.

    Perfect weather for the perfect hike

    1 · June 14, 2014

  • Melody (.

    Ate folks aat rje giant cat exhibit or have you headed into Rock Crewk Park already

    June 14, 2014

  • Luming

    Sorry I am late. Where are you now?

    June 14, 2014

  • Yelena

    Great!

    June 13, 2014

  • Lana

    I have to miss this cool meetup, another crack in the ceiling with water leak, have to move stuff :-(

    June 12, 2014

    • Skysusan

      Will miss you! sky

      June 13, 2014

    • John M

      That stinks! :(

      June 13, 2014

  • Ursula C.

    I hope to join you; this sounds like fun.

    1 · June 12, 2014

  • Yelena

    Thank you Jim for update.

    1 · June 12, 2014

  • Jim

    Here is Metro's announcement for its planned slowdowns this weekend. Yellow Line travelers are lucky - they don't get boarhawged. http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/metro_service_status/advisories.cfm?AID=3289

    3 · June 12, 2014

    • Edna

      Thanks Jim!

      1 · June 12, 2014

  • Tori

    My break from dance and volunteering !!!! Finally.

    June 11, 2014

  • Brenda

    the lion and tiger cubs are also fun to watch. They seem to play like kittens.

    2 · June 11, 2014

  • ML M.

    Street parking is free

    3 · June 11, 2014

    • ML M.

      Just look for street parking on the neighborhood not on CT Ave

      June 11, 2014

  • Rebecca W.

    Looking forward to finally meeting everyone. Plus I get to visit the zoo!!

    2 · June 11, 2014

  • Ian B.

    Im taking Metro.

    June 11, 2014

    • Ian B.

      Lets be creative, there is always a solution.

      1 · June 11, 2014

  • ML M.

    Another option is to park in the neighborhood Just pay attention to the parking signs.

    June 11, 2014

  • sandy

    John:
    Can we discuss parking options? I like the zoo, but not $22 worth of like :)

    June 10, 2014

    • Diana B.

      The metro is also an option. Redline serves this entrance from two stops. If take the Woodley Park stop, it is only a few blocks up the hill and if you want to walk down hill, use the Cleveland Park metro stop. If driving, consider car pooling too to split any costs.

      June 10, 2014

  • Liza

    I will miss this one since I am there everyday (just saying). FYI - parking is now a flat $22 unless you are a member which have some discounts and even free parking for premier level and above. Please note also that parking fills up fast on weekends.

    June 10, 2014

  • lynn m.

    OOOOO..so bummed I will miss this one * - ( ....out of town for the day. Enjoy!

    June 10, 2014

  • Edna

    Ahhh...Bao-Bao, we finally get to meet. My nagging paid off ;)!

    3 · June 10, 2014

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