Exploring the Green Oasis in the Middle of the San Fernando Valley

The Sepulveda Basin, a lush green oasis in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, is the Valley's Central Park. This 2.2 mile walk showcases the tall trees and plentiful birds of the soft bottom channel in the west end of the basin.


Parking lot on Balboa Boulevard directly south of the L.A. River


By bike: Take the Metro Orange Line bikeway. Turn left at Balboa Boulevard and proceed south to the L.A. River.

By transit: Take the Metro Orange Line and exit at Balboa Boulevard and proceed south to the L.A. River. Alternately, take the 236 or 237 Bus on Balboa Boulevard. Disembark at the stop just south of the Los Angeles River (between Burbank Boulevard and Victory Boulevard)

By car: Exit the 405 Freeway at Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys and go west on Burbank. Turn right on Balboa Boulevard. The starting place for the walk is just before the Balboa Boulevard. Bridge over the L.A. River. Parking is available at the lot on the west side of the street, just south of the L.A. River.

Alternately, exit the 101 Freeway in Encino at Balboa Boulevard, go north on Balboa, and follow the directions above.


From the parking lot on Balboa, go north toward the river. I suggest starting the walk by going out on the Balboa Boulevard Bridge, looking upstream. From this vantage point, you can often spot ducks, coots, cormorants, and other birds.

Walk back and then upstream on the concrete bike path. A few feet before the path U-turns, go to the left of the bikeway fence, and continue walking upstream on the flat grassy area (used as an access road) along the top the channel.

The path goes along the fences of the sports complex on your left. Walk to the right around the large tree that blocks the access road. Carefully, stepping on the dry horizontal surfaces, cross the outlet of a small tributary, which is slippery when wet. At the Metro Orange Line Bridge, the channel narrows and becomes concrete-bottomed.


There is a walkable asphalt access road continuing to White Oak Avenue, but the gate is locked at White Oak.


Banner Photo: Los Angeles District/Flickr/Creative Commons License


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