Go have fun on the LA River (no really!)

You may have never thought you would see this. As of Monday, a 2.5-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River was officially opened to recreation: kayaking, fishing, or just walking along and checking out the blue herons and the floating trash. The link of river that is open runs between Fletcher Drive and Oros Street in the Elysian Valley area. It's a pilot project that will operate until Labor Day, managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority with the blessing of the Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the concrete channel's use as a flood control drain. Official name for the new project: the Los Angeles River Pilot Recreation Zone.


Starting today, any member of the public can launch a non-motorized, steerable boat, such as a kayak or canoe, from MRCA-operated Rattlesnake Park at Fletcher Drive, and enjoy a 2.5 mile adventure to the exit point at MRCA’s Steelhead Park at Oros Street. The public is welcome to walk and fish (with a California Department of Fish and Wildlife permit) alongside the river in the recreation zone.

“The MRCA is managing the first water recreation zone on the Los Angeles River,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Officer of the MRCA. “This is a monumental day that was inconceivable thirty years ago. We want the public to know that the river is here to connect them to nature, and the MRCA will be here to make their experience enjoyable and safe.”

“I have been inspired by the passion of the people working towards the betterment of this river,” said [Army Corps] Colonel Mark Toy. “The Los Angeles District recognizes that the joint goals of flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and recreation can all coexist.

The hours are sunrise to sunset. No permits needed for an invididual to kayak on the river, only for groups. This is a different spot than the short run in Encino where commercial kayak tours began a couple of years ago. Information website. Oh by the way: if it starts to rain, get out of the river.

Los Angeles River in Elysian Valley: LA Observed

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