Parking & Directions
The Zoo is free, but Entry Passes are required for all guests, including infants.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is located in the heart of northwest Washington, D.C. and spans 163 acres. There are two pedestrian entrances and one vehicular entrance.
Vehicles may not enter the Zoo via Beach Drive. However, vehicles may exit the Zoo via Beach Drive southbound starting at 2:30 p.m. daily. Please note that northbound access to Beach Drive is not permitted.
Buses are not permitted to unload or load inside the Zoo unless they have a parking reservation. See the Bus Parking Reservation Request Form for more information.
‘Zoo Loop’ in Rock Creek Park
A ½ mile section of paved recreational trail in Rock Creek Park known as the ‘Zoo Loop’ extends along the southeast edge of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo property near the Duke Ellington Bridge.
Please note: the Zoo Loop is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the spring and summer, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during fall and winter. Details are posted at signs located at both entrances of the loop. The Zoo Loop may be closed without advance notice in the event of an emergency, inclement weather or as determined by Zoo management.