Hikes: The L.A. River

Beacon Hill from the L.A. River

The L.A. River - the name conjures up images of burnt-out cars, spent shopping carts, discarded tires and rampant industrialization. Certainly, it’s fair to say that it's a river that has suffered it's share of pollution and neglect over the years (like many big city rivers) but conditions in certain sections have recently improved substantially due to revitalization efforts.

Along the L.A. River

There's now a 10 mile bike path from Riverside Dr. to Egret park with solar powered lights, with plans to continue expansion for the full 51-mile length of the river. In this section, there are lots of mini "pocket" parks opening up, an equestrian facility, a soccer field, a Yoga park and golf course. While this may not be the most scenic walk in L.A., most areas in this section are quite pleasant with sights and sounds provided by joggers, bicyclists, dog-walkers, horse riding and a great variety of birds (snowy egrets, black-necked stilt, great blue herons, mallards, white pelicans, Canadian geese, osprey and red tailed hawks among others) that make the river their home.

The section between the Los Feliz Golf course and the North Atwater park is one of the nicer ones. Round trip, this stroll is about 1 1/4 miles in length, has no elevation gain and takes about 30 minutes. It can be quite lovely in the late afternoon sun.

Details - L.A. River
Distance: 1.25 mi
Duration: 1 hr
Elevation Range: 409 - 419 ft
Net Elevation Gain: 10 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 10 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.123196, -118.270305
Description: An easy walk with almost no elevation gain, and some scenery that just might surprise you.