LA River

Maps: LA River Recreation Zones Are Now Open for Kayaking, Fishing and More

Recreation zones in the west San Fernando Valley and Elysian Valley offer a different perspective on the Los Angeles River.

A person kayaks in the LA River.

The ninth summer season of the LA River Recreation Zones is underway with kayaking, fishing and other activities.

The Los Angeles River Elysian Valley and Sepulveda Basin recreation zones, managed by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority, opened Monday. The zones offer opportunities to kayak, fish and more along the LA River.

Here's what to know about the recreation zones, open from sunrise to sunset through Sept. 30.

What the the LA River Recreation Zones?

The zones were established in 2014, providing a place for residents to kayak, fish, bird watch, walk and more along the LA River. The zones are part of a larger more than 20-year effort to revitalize and transform the LA River into a recreational greenway.

Only non-motorized steerable boats, such as kayaks and canoe, are allowed. Click here for information about kayak rentals.

Swimming is not allowed.

Where are the LA River Recreation Zones?

There are two zones -- one east of the 5 Freeway in Elysian Valley, the other in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in the west San Fernando Valley.

Access to the Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone is at Rattlesnake Park at Fletcher Driver north of Riverside Drive or at Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park at 2999 Rosanna Street or 2944 Gleneden Street in Elysian Valley. The kayak trip is considered physically challenging with flows ranging between Class 1 and 2.

The Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone stretches for about two miles from near Balboa Boulevard, south of Victory Boulevard, to west of Woodley Avenue. Access is at Balboa Boulevard north of Victory Boulevard. This trip typically has Class 1 flows.

You can click here to check the river's water quality and conditions. There may be low-flow areas and rocks that require users to walk and carry.

Signs are posted to mark the zones.

LA River kayaking has returned and just in time for the holiday, after a long, long time away. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 31, 2021.

"We are looking forward to operating the ninth season of the LA River Recreation Zone," said Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority Chief Ranger Fernando Gomez. "We want to remind everyone to take safety precautions when going out on the river. You must wear a personal flotation device and a helmet. Also, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water. You will be in the sun."

Click here for a full list of safety recommendations.

Are permits required?

Not for individuals. Organized groups will need to get a permit from the MRCA.

Where is fishing allowed?

At the Elysian Valley site, fishing is allowed on the banks, five feet up from the slope of the channel and from a boat. Fishing is allowed from a boat or the non-restricted banks at the Sepulveda Basin location.

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