Thumbnail image for kayaking18.jpgKayaking in the Sepulveda Basin, 2012 | Photo: Justin Cram

Two L.A. River Recreational Zones to Open Memorial Day Weekend

Officials have been mum about this summer's planned recreational zones due to some pending permit approvals, but as of this week all signatures on this much-awaited Los Angeles River activity has been signed off.

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) Chief Ranger Fernando Gomez has confirmed that two Los Angeles River recreational zones will be opening this Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Officially called the Elysian Valley River Recreational Zone and the Sepulveda Basin River Recreational Zone, the areas will be managed by MRCA and will follow the same well-accepted formats as previous years, information for which you can find here and here. Operating hours will be from sunrise to sunset, beginning Monday, May 26.* As in previous years, no fires, barbecues, or glass containers are allowed inside the areas.

Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone Map |

Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone (click to enlarge) |

Additionally, in response to MRCA's request for additional funds, both the Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles Department of Water Power have contributed an undisclosed amount to help fund the additional man hours required to continue patrolling the neighborhoods involved. The value of their sponsorship is expected to be announced at the official public opening organized by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's office 9 a.m. on Memorial Day at Marsh Park in Elysian Valley.

Kayaking will continue to be the main draw for both areas. At Elysian Valley, Friends of the Los Angeles River have teamed up with the L.A. River Kayak Safari, which also operated last season. They will be offering kayak tours once a day on weekdays and twice a day on weekends. Kayak tours will be available starting Monday, May 26. A new vendor will also be present, offering the public an opportunity to rent kayaks on weekends and go out on the recreational zone on their own.

At Sepulveda Basin, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and L.A. River Expeditions who also operated at the site two years ago, will be offering guided tours of the stretch. Those with kayaks of their own are free to explore the Sepulveda zone starting Saturday. Gomez adds that in the San Fernando Valley location, kayakers will not be allowed on the bank, so as not to disturb the endangered bird species in the area.

Find further details about the Elysian Valley River Recreational Zone here and on the Sepulveda Basin River Recreational Zone here.

*UPDATE: Operating hours will be from sunrise to sunset, beginning Monday, May 26. The article previously stated that the recreational zones would open May 24.

About the Author

Carren is an art, architecture and design writer and an avid explorer of Los Angeles. Her work has been spotted on Core77, Dwell, Surface Asia, and Fast Co.Design. You can find her online and on Twitter. 
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