LA River kayaks

A group of kayakers prepare to enter the L.A. River in Elysian Valley during the first year the L.A. River Recreation Zone opened in 2013.

Elysian Valley -- Kayaking is returning to the Los Angeles River, after limited or no access for the last two years.

The Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority announced that kayaking will be permitted once again along the entire Los Angeles River Recreation Zones in Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin, when the area opens up on Memorial Day, May 31. Walking, fishing, and bird watching will also be allowed - with all recreation open from sunrise to sunset. Swimming is still prohibited. The season ends Sept. 30.

Kayaking was barred from the river last year due to COVID concerns. The year before that, the kayaking run in Elysian Valley was cut to less than half the length -- just extending between Clearwater and Newell Streets -- because of construction on the Taylor Yard Bridge.

This year, however, the full Elysian Valley route will be open without additional restrictions, according to Dash Stolarz, director of public affairs for the MRCA.

L.A. River may close when contamination is too high

Recreation may still be closed on some days, however, due to water contamination concerns, Stolarz noted. Los Angeles Sanitation is providing enhanced water quality alerts this year. Solar-powered beacons - installed by LA Sanitation & Environment - will indicate the water quality conditions at the kayaking input sites: With a green light for “safe"; yellow for “safe, but take precautions"; and solid red for “do not kayak.” A blinking red light means the recreation zone is closed for a reason other than water quality.

Public access points will also feature signs and informational material with health and safety protocols.

Sign up for The Eastsider's Daily Digest newsletter

LA River Expeditions said they have already been gearing up for the season, taking ten guides up to Kernville for swiftwater training, according to general manager Anthea Raymond.

“We plan to again offer both our more adventurous trips on the Glendale Narrows — launching at Newell and ending at Steelhead Park, and passing under the new bridge,” Raymond told The Eastsider.

Maps of the river access points, and more information, can be found at the MRCA's website.

L.A. River Kayak Outfitters

Anyone with a non-motorized, steerable canoe or kayak can enter navigate the river recreation zone on their own but must enter at designated launch points.  Those who don't have equipment can hire these three outfitters for rentals and guided tours:

 LA River Expeditions

LA River Kayaks

• LA River Kayak Safari

Support community news in 2021

Support community news in 2021

The Eastsider needs your support!

The Eastsider is committed to providing news and information free to all as a community service. But reporting and writing neighborhood news takes time -- and money. Join the other Eastsider readers whose one-time contributions and monthly sponsorships help pay our bills and allow us to provide you the news and info that keeps you connected to your community. -- Jesus Sanchez, Publisher

Load comments