An audacious 52-mile ride (one-way) is not for the faint of heart. If you're among those who just have to experience the full month of this epic urban trek, follow our directions on how you do it. The entire ride is a collection of smaller rides described elsewhere on this site. The missing pieces - essentially 24 miles of riding surface streets - are in the eastern San Fernando Valley and downtown. Stop lights, a lack of bike lane and the ubiquitous threat from cars, make these pieces a challenge. Food, restrooms, sightseeing, parks are all noted on the individual ride pages. Happy riding!
Headwater to Sepulveda Basin Streets Section
From the headwaters, this 5.7 miles section winds through streets and stays within sight of the river, but not alongside it.
Sepulveda Basin Section
This 2.6 mile section takes you into the Sepulveda Basin Recreational Area and alongside the most natural stretch of the river.
Studio City - Burbank Section
This 13 mile section, mostly along Riverside Drive, offers only the occasional river views as it stays on San Fernando Valley streets.
Glendale Narrows Bike Path Section
At last, you finally join the riverside bike path and leave traffic lights behind for a 7.2 mile section past the scenic soft-bottom part of the river and many pocket parks.
This 8.9 mile section is the hardest, as it winds through city streets in industrial neighborhoods. Take caution: the roads are often filled with large trucks and very few fellow bikers.
South County Bike Path Section
Leaving the streets behind, this section heads 16.8 miles south on the river bike path, all the way to the harbor at Long Beach.
Headwaters of the L.A. River. Confluence of Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas, Canoga Park at Owensmouth Avenue
DIRECTIONS TO START
TRANSIT: Take the Metro Orange Line Bus 901 toward Warner Center. Exit at the Canoga Station.
CAR: From the 101 Freeway, exit at Canoga Avenue and head north. Take a left on Vanowen Street then a right onto Owensmouth Avenue.
At the Headwaters, use street parking on or around Owensmouth Avenue.
For an iconic ending (with photo ops), ascend the hill and touch the lighthouse in Shoreline Aquatic Park, or perhaps roll right up the gangplanks of the RMS Queen Mary.
ENDING POINT PARKING
At the Estuary, use any of the pay-parking lots near Shoreline Aquatic Park.