Los Angeles River Recreation Program

 

ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES RIVER RECREATION ZONE

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), in cooperation with the City and County of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, and the Army Corps of Engineers will administer the Los Angeles River Recreation Program to allow public access to the Los Angeles River in the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone this year opening Memorial Day, May 30, 2016 from sunrise to sunset daily, during safe conditions.


After two successful years, May 25, 2015 the public will now be able to walk, fish and kayak on two designated stretches of the Los Angeles River--the 2.5 mile Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone and the 2-mile Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone.


During the season, any member of the public can access either of the recreation zone areas free of charge. Organized groups and fee-based groups must obtain special use permits from the MRCA for which there is a fee.  Private vendors will also offer guided trips at each of the locations.


MRCA Rangers will regulate usage and promote public safety in the Recreation Zone with rules established by the MRCA ordinance. Pedestrian travel is limited to paved and rocky surfaces, and in designated areas only in order to protect protected bird habitat.


Boat access to the Recreation Zone is located at MRCA-managed Rattlesnake Park at Fletcher Drive. The exit point will be downstream adjacent to MRCA-managed Steelhead Park on Oros Street. MRCA Rangers will regulate usage and promote public safety in the Recreation Zone with rules established by the MRCA ordinance.  The Recreation Zone also permits activities such as walking, bird watching, and fishing (with California Fish and Wildlife permit). 



QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Contact Us

310-858-7272 Ext. 300

Lariverrecreation@mrca.ca.gov

Managed by Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority

Do I have to pay or get a permit to use the Recreation Zone?
For individual users, there is no need for a permit and use of the river is free.  Organized groups must obtain a permit from the MRCA, for which there is a fee.  Information about permits is available here.


What kind of boat can I use in the recreation zone?
Non motorized, steerable boats such as kayaks or canoes are permitted.


Can I use an inner tube or pool raft?
No.  Only non motorized, steerable boats are permitted


Where do I park?

In Elysian Valley:  There is four-hour parking on Fletcher Drive on the City Street. Parking is also available downstream adjacent to Confluence Park under the 2 freeway at Home Depot.


In the Sepulveda Basin: There is a free parking lot adjacent to the put-in area on Balboa Boulevard.  There is ample street parking on Woodley Avenue downstream near the end of the run.


How do I get my boat down to the river?  Are there any ramps?
The River Guide of the Elysian Valley Recreation Zone and the map of the Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone provide guidance regarding the put-in” location. Participants must carry their boats from street parking to the put-in point. Care must be taken when walking on the trapezoidal riverbank.


How do I get my kayak back into my car?

In the Elysian Valley:  The City has established a loading zone near the exit point on Riverside Drive at Oros Street where kayak participants can load equipment back into their vehicles.


In the Sepulveda Basin:  Participants should park their vehicles on Woodley Avenue and load their equipment there.


Are there guided trips?
Yes.  In the Elysian Valley, Friends of the Los Angeles River in partnership with L.A. River Kayak Safari will operate guided trips.  In the Sepulveda Basin, Los Angeles Conservation Corps runs Paddle the La River, and L.A. River Expeditions will also operate guided tours here.


Can we rent kayaks?
In Elysian Valley:  On weekends, kayak rentals will be available at Marsh Park.  Please contact the vendor, LA River Kayaks, at www.lariverkayaks.com for more information.


How difficult are the runs?

The Elysian valley trip is physically challenging. Typically flows range between Class I and II, but water conditions are subject to change without notice. There are sections when participants must portage, and/or walk their boats past low flow areas. As with any river, scout ahead. A river guide is available, but river conditions are subject to change without notice.


The Sepulveda Basin trip typically have Class I flows, and the water is easy to paddle in.  However, there are three places where it may be difficult to navigate one’s boat over rocks, and the kayaker will likely need to get out of the boat and portage and/or walk their boats over the rocks.


Where can I fish?
Fishing is allowed in the Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone on the banks, five feet up from the slope of the channel or from a boat.


In the Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone fishing is allowed from a boat, or on the non-restricted banks (see map).


How did this program come about?

For more than 20 years, the MRCA and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy have been working together with federal, state, and local government, and community organizations to transform the Los Angeles River into a continuous 51-mile recreational greenway to enhance neighborhoods, improve water quality, and promote public health.  Since 2002, the MRCA has been working with the City of Los Angeles and other partners to promote revitalization of the Los Angeles River.  A hugely successful pilot non-motorized boating program was initiated in the Sepulveda Basin stretch of the river in August 2011.  A pilot recreation zone in Elysian Valley was established by the city of Los Angeles with the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers in 2013.  Building on the success and popularity of that program, two river recreation zones were established in 2014.  Councilmember Mitch O’ Farrell was instrumental in obtaining sponsorship of the river recreation zone.


What role does each of the project partners play in the management of the Los Angeles River?
The city is the largest landowner in the Program area and possesses rights to the river’s water; the County Flood Control District holds an easement in the project area for flood control purposes; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides flood control operations and maintenance services in the area; the MRCA owns and manages parks along the river in the Program area.  The MRCA is administering the river recreation program in both areas


How do I get more information?

Contact us at lariverrecreation@mrca.ca.gov

Or call (310) 858-7272 x300

What part of the river, exactly, is the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone?

This year, the MRCA is administering two river recreation zones:

The Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone extends 2.5 miles from Fletcher Drive. The zone includes the river channel itself, and five feel up the slope of the channel.  It does not include the remaining banks. Or the existing bike path or maintenance road on the banks above the river channel.


Access to the Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone is at MRCA-managed Rattlesnake Park at Fletcher Drive north of Riverside Drive.

The Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone extends two miles from approximately Balboa Boulevard in the Sepulveda basin (south of Victory Boulevard) to just west of Woodley Avenue.


Access to the Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone is from the access road adjacent to the parking lot in Sepulveda Basin at Balboa Blvd. south of Victory Blvd.















 

How will I know if I am in the Recreation Zone and what I can do there?

Signage, including rules signs will be posted. The zone will be clearly marked.


Click below to enlarge image

In cooperation with US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, and the City of Los Angeles

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority 2013. All copyrights reserved.

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