Grand Theft Auto V has long been one of the shining examples of what an open-world game should be like. If you haven't played it, you definitely have something to look forward to when you do pick the game up. When I first played GTA V, I felt totally overwhelmed by the freedom of it all. You might laugh at me, but I actually had a momentary sense of panic where I did not know exactly what I should do next. (Go ahead. Laugh at my newbie sense of wonder.)
One of my favorite things about open-worlds are the secret places that you can find that are scattered all over the map. Plenty of games have secrets and Easter Eggs contained within them, but open-world games just have so many more locations with which to hide these things. If finding a secret in a game is typically like finding a needle in a haystack, finding a secret in an open-world game is like finding a needle in a needle-stack.
Grand Theft Auto V is no exception to this trend. This massive game if stuffed to the brim with hidden references, secret locations,and Easter Eggs. You can't go five blocks in Los Santos without walking by an area that could potentially hold a secret location. And with GTA Online and mods available, the secrets are even more rampant. It's practically impossible to know where all of these hidden things are, even if you are a huge fan. Read on if you want to find out some of these locations for yourself!
25 The Thelma And Louise Cliff
For those who haven't seen the cult classic film Thelma & Louise, here's a spoiler warning. In the movie, two women on the run from the law decide to drive off a cliff rather than to submit to the police.
Grand Theft Auto V decided to include this scene in their game. Between 7 pm and 8 pm, if you fly by helicopter (or some other flying vehicle) to a mountain by Raton Canyon in the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness, you can see the women's final flight from the police.
24 The Howitzer Motel Room Of Craziness
Jack Howitzer is a colorful actor who has made appearances in several grand Theft Auto games. He's like a mainstay for the series now, so of course developers included a hidden location dedicated to him in their fifth GTA game.
Players can go to the Motor Motel and access Jack's motel room.
I've seen people world-glitch their way underneath to the map in order to land themselves within Jack's room. It's not the easiest of locations to find, but it is possible.
23 Frozen: Alien Style
In the very prologue to Grand Theft Auto V, the game developers hid a secret location with an awesome surprise. While driving along, when you come to the railroad, do not drive over it like the game tells you to. Instead, make a right and go under the bridge you would have crossed.
Frozen in the ice beneath the bridge, you will find the series' signature alien trapped beneath the hardened surface of the water. Seeing that alien scared the bejesus out of me.
22 No Video Game For Old Men
Grand Theft Auto V gives a tip of the hat to the film No Country for Old Men in this hidden location at the base of Mount Chiliad. On the west side of the mountain, players will find a deal gone wrong, with lifeless bodies and abandoned cars splayed around the area.
Just like in the film, one man is still alive, and he warns the player not to take a nearby silver briefcase filled with money. If you've seen the movie, I think you know why you should leave that briefcase alone.
21 The Elusive Taco Van
Nothing is more infuriating than being unable to get your hands on some delicious tacos. Grand Theft Auto V puts a delightful new spin on this dilemma with their frequently mobile Taco Van.
This van appears in different spots throughout the game, such as near Trevor's trailer or at the graveyard at Pacific Bluffs, so if you sight this behemoth of a Taco Van, be sure to try to take it for a ride at least once. It makes for a very clunky ride, but at least you'll be able to say you took it for a spin.
20 A Face On The Rocks
On the north side of Mt. Chiliad, a small drawing on the mountain's surface can barely be discerned. If you get even closer to it, you can make out the smiling features of a male face stamped on the mountainside.
No one knows who this person is, or if someone does, they're not telling us who it is. If you want to see this face, look near the cable car station that's on the north side of Chiliad. It might take a bit of searching, but no doubt you'll come across this mysterious visage.
19 An Island Off The Coast
Mods have brought a whole new layer of secrecy and mystery to the world of Grand Theft Auto V. I appreciate the creativity that others have brought to the game, especially because they can provide my favorite kind of secret area: islands!
If you manage to get your hands on a boat and depart from Los Santos' shores, you will find collections of remote islands with hidden surprises like bunkers and stuff. Keep in mind that you might have to go so far from land that you see nothing but ocean around you.
18 Beautiful Cover
The Tongva Valley in Grand Theft Auto V holds many natural wonders. I discovered this place while ignoring all the nature, desperately fleeing the police as they chased me. As I crashed through the area, right smack dab in the middle of the Valley, I came across a cave. This is the Tongva Hills Cave.
It provided me with the shelter I needed, and it also contained a part of a spaceship. Exploring the Tongva Valley thoroughly should help you find this cave.
17 The Underwater Tank
If you manage to get your hands on a submersible, you can explore the underwater spaces that Grand Theft Auto V has provided. In one area, just east of the Humane Labs, if you're exploring beneath the waves, you can find the wreckage of a ton of military equipment.
One of these pieces is what appears to be a Panzer tank.
If you ask me, that tank is wasted underwater. If I had had that tank with me while storming the military base, everything would have gone so much more smoothly.
16 The Uber Secret Mine
This list of hidden locations would have been totally lame without a secret mine on it. It's located in the Great Chaparral section of the map, which, if you've played the game, you know to be mainly empty of any structures of civilization.
While searching this spot, you can find an abandoned mine shaft entrance.
There are a few surprises behind the door, which I won't spoil for you here, which you can access with some well-timed glitching or high explosives.
15 Returning To Humane Labs
Grand Theft Auto Online gave players the chance to perform heists in the city of Los Santos. One of these heists takes place in Humane Labs and Research. After completing this mission, innovative players can finagle their way back into the Labs to explore the building.
Watch out if you attempt this! As soon as you enter Humane Labs, you are immediately given a four-star wanted rating. And you can bet you won't be exploring that Lab alone for long.
14 Best Sniping Spot
The Epsilon Building in Los Santos is a large mansion. Its roof has some cone-shaped tops, and some enterprising players have found that these cones make for perfect hiding places.
The back of the Epsilon Building has ladders to get you up higher, but in order to get into the cones (and I do mean into the cones), you have to glitch your way inside them. However, once you're inside the cones, you have the perfect cover and the perfect vantage point.
13 The Lost "Lost" Hatch
Fans of the television show Lost will be thrilled to learn that there's a little secret location that only fans of the show will get. Off the east coast, if you have a submersible that can get you deep enough, there's a circular hatch set into the sea floor. This is a replication of The Hatch in the jungle on the island in Lost.
Unfortunately, we can't get too close to this hatch. You are so far underwater near the hatch that the pressure can even crush your submersible.
12 Giant Snowman
There is nothing like seeing a snowman in existence when the weather appears to be more on the hot side than on the chilly side. In La Mesa, there's a Fridgit warehouse that contains an Easter Egg snowman. (My holidays are now getting mixed up.)
If you make your way into the warehouse, you'll find yourself confronted with several sets of blue doors. One of these doors is lightly ajar, and if you peek inside the room, you can see a snowman inside staring at you.
11 The Real Tennis Coach House
In Grand Theft Auto V, Michael, one of the main characters of the story, discovers that his wife Amanda has been having amorous connections with her tennis coach. In anger, Michael chases the tennis coach all the way to where Michael believes he lives. He then destroys the house.
This turns out horribly when he realizes that the house he destroyed belongs to the head of a cartel. Not many people realize that the tennis coach's real house is nearby, as evidenced by the tennis balls and tennis rackets lying around the property.
10 Coveted Cove
Just looking at Coveted Cove makes you covet it. It is the perfect little getaway place, complete with a private cave.
This hidden area is near the south side of the San Chianski Mountain Range.
There are obviously no roads leading to the Cove, but that doesn't mean you can't trek around the area looking for it. Or, of course, you could try chancing a land vehicle over the bumpy terrain. If you make it to Coveted Cove, you'll be able to find some goodies in the cave, including a Grenade Launcher.
9 Fort Zancudo Lab
Mods are the best. One mod in particular made me try and sneak into the heavily fortified Fort Zancudo one more time in order to access a secret underground lab. You know that building that the pesky UFO keeps hovering over in Zancudo?
If the mod is installed, there's an elevator in that building that will take you all the way down to this underground lab. Don't let your success at getting into this place blind you to the ever-present danger of patrolling soldiers though.
8 The Dancing Hillbilly's Shack
A must-see location for all avid GTA fans is the shack of Jesco White. (And no, before you ask, I'm not joking. It's a must-see.) Near the North Alamo Pier, Jesco White can be found dancing to a song next to his shack, thanks to his little boombox belting out music at his feet.
He's only there in story mode, so be sure to stop there while you're dabbling in Grand Theft Auto V's story. There's nothing like watching a live performance in the middle of a video game.
7 The Aquatic Flying Object
Another sunken wreckage you can find in GTA V aside from the Panzer tank I mentioned earlier is the underwater UFO. The wreck lies north of Procopio Beach and is best found with a submersible at your disposal.
Perhaps more than any other hidden location, this UFO is the most awe-inspiring. When I came across it while motoring along underwater, the size of it totally surprised me. It seemed to just loom out of the murky darkness of the water.
6 What's Atop The Clock Tower?
Everyone in Los Santos has a good view of the clock tower, a tall building that seems to dominate the skyline with its bold clock face. We see it all the time, but not many know that it makes for the best bird's-eye view around town.
Of course, reaching this secluded location all depends on your ability to pilot your way up there. I'll confess, my parachuting abilities were less than subpar. You would think I would have been able to land on the darned thing, but I missed it by a long shot.
5 The Control Tower Of Trouble
Reaching this location is not for the faint of heart. For this secret spot, we return to Fort Zancudo. But, instead of going to an underground lab, we're going up to a control tower.
This is a heavily protected area, so be sure to pack some heavy gear. Or...well, you know, you could turn on some Invincibility. (I wouldn't call that cheating.) Anyways, at the top of the tower, there's a re-spawning Minigun that's a blast to use. Plus, you get bragging rights to say that you've been there.
4 The Airport Bunker
The Los Santos Airport is one of the places I frequented the most while playing Grand Theft Auto Online. There was no other place that had such readily available access to air transportation. While exploring the airport, there's a secondary terminal that isn't frequented much.
It does not contain a lot, but it makes for a great place to escape from the authorities. (I should know all about that by now.) It's in the southern region of the airport, and there's a rooftop hatch you can use to get inside.
3 The Crazy 8
Undoubtedly one of the creepier locations on this list is the rock poem found by Sandy Shores. The world of Grand Theft Auto V is apparently plagued with a psychopath who is known as the Infinity criminal.
His poem and assorted other clues can eventually lead you to the eight bodies of his victims. I'm going to be totally honest with you. I did not seek out these hidden locations myself. I was way too much of a 'Fraidy Cat. But they're out there...if you want to find them.
2 Pool Time
There's only one thing better than secret islands, and that's secret pools. You heard me right. Grand Theft Auto V is sprinkled with hard-to-reach pools in several different locations.
My two favorite hidden pools are the rooftop one and the one that's within a building. The rooftop one is only accessible by parachute. The other one is completely enclosed by its hotel. You have to enter the building in order to access the pool. Afterwards though, it's just you and some solo pool time.
1 I See Ghosts
Grand Theft Auto provided me with more spooks than I thought possible. One of these spooks occurred near the top of Mount Gordo. If the clock reads some time between 11 pm and 12 am and you're at that spot, the spectral figure of a girl in white appears there.
She has the creepiest of expressions on her face, with pale eyes and an extremely slack jaw gaping wide open. You can also hear strange whispers in the air when you're simply near the area.