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New section of the Los Angeles River opens

May 15, 2013:Los Angeles River

For the first time since the Los Angeles River was channelized in the 1930s, the public will be welcomed to walk, fish, and kayak on a 2.5 mile portion of the L.A. River in Elysian Valley, beginning on Memorial Day 2013. 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 historic Los Angeles River Recreation Zone pilot program to increase safe public access to the L.A. River and to promote the goal of river revitalization.

The program runs from Memorial Day (May 27, 2013) to Labor Day (September 2, 2013) and from sunrise to sunset daily, during safe conditions. During this time, any member of the public can access the Recreation Zone free of charge. Organized groups and fee-based groups must obtain special use permits from the MRCA for which there is a fee.

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.

Back in August 2011, a hugely successful pilot non-motorized boating program was initiated in the Sepulveda Basin stretch of the river. Called the "Paddle the L.A. River" program this section is managed by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps which provides regulated kayak tours on the river in the Sepulveda Basin. The key difference between that program in the Sepulveda Basin and the new Los Angeles River Recreation Zone in the Elysian Valley, is that any member of the public can access the Elysian Valley Recreation Zone during the program period.

The 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.


Watch a Video of the Sepulveda Basin section to get a feel of the LA River

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What Do You Think?
  1. Have you paddled the Los Angeles River, or would you ever want to experience it?
  2. Should Los Angeles push for more of the river to be opened?








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