By Sarah Favot
You can now kayak, canoe, fish, bird watch or otherwise explore the Los Angeles River with the opening of the river’s recreation zones for the summer.
Now in its sixth season, the Elysian Valley and Sepulveda Basin zones are open to the public through Sept. 30. The recreation zones are managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
“We are looking forward to another great season,” MRCA Chief Ranger Fernando Gomez said. “We urge everyone to check out the website www.lariverrecreation.org to find out about river conditions, weather and closure information. You can also learn about how to access the river, and outfitters who provide guided tours or rent kayaks.”
The hours are sunrise to sunset, except during and after inclement weather or other adverse conditions.
The most popular activity on the river is kayaking.
The 2.5-mile stretch of the Elysian Valley zone can have strong currents and a few rapids, making it physically challenging. Vessels may be tipped. Officials caution boaters that they will likely get wet and dirty. They also remind boaters to wear life preservers and closed-toed shoes with good traction for walking on boulders and the river floor.
The two-mile stretch of the Sepulveda Basin zone is known as being a more leisurely kayaking experience.
There are also guided tours along the river.
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy have been working for more than 20 years with federal, state and local government to open the L.A. River for recreational use.
A boating pilot program began in August 2011 along the Sepulveda Basin and a pilot program followed in the Elysian Valley zone in 2013.
Kayakers can access the Los Angeles River from MRCA Rattlesnake Park at Fletcher Drive. Parking is available on Fletcher Drive. Access is also available from MRCA Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park (formerly Marsh Park) whose parking lot entrances are at 2999 Rosanna St. and 2944 Gleneden Street.
To access the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone, there is parking on Balboa Boulevard and on Woodley Avenue, where there are access points to the river.
City News Service contributed to this report.