Los Angeles River Trail

California

8 Reviews

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Los Angeles River Trail Facts

States: California
Counties: Los Angeles
Length: 23.9 miles
Trail end points: Riverside Dr. at Ventura Fwy./SR 134 (Los Angeles) and Shoreline Aquatic Park Bike Trail on Golden Shore (Long Beach)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6539282

Los Angeles River Trail Description

The paved Los Angeles River Trail—also known as the Los Angeles River Bike Path, Los Angeles River Bikeway, Los Angeles River Greenway Trail and Lario Trail—is open in two disconnected segments along its namesake waterway in Los Angeles County. Channelized for nearly the entirety of its run through the highly urbanized area, the adjacent river is the subject of sizeable plans to restore the original habitat and open it to recreational use.

In the north, the shorter open section of trail begins in Los Angeles near the Glendale–Burbank border and runs south to Los Angeles' Egret Park on Riverside Drive. Wedged between the river and Interstate 5 for most of its journey, the trail isn't particularly scenic. (This can be frustrating when you consider famous Griffith Park is just on the other side of the freeway but completely inaccessible from the trail.)

However, several new parks along the trail's route—all recently opened as part of the rehabilitation of the river and its immediate surroundings—do provide a pleasant diversion from the otherwise urban landscape. Sunnynook River Park offers a larger space to view native plants and trees, while Rattlesnake Park, Marsh Park, Elysian Valley Gateway Park (a particularly good spot to view the range of birds that call the area home) and Egret Park are smaller places to relax before you resume your trip.

After a significant gap near downtown Los Angeles, the longer southern trail segment begins in almost exclusively industrial Vernon, the smallest incorporated city in California. Like the northern portion, the trail continues south along the western side of the channelized river, but it soon crosses to the eastern side via the Imperial Highway's bridge. Here, it also meets the Rio Hondo River Trail, which heads northeast along its namesake tributary to the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and beyond.

Continuing south through a variety of natural and industrial landscapes, the Los Angeles River Trail ultimately ends with the river at the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, where it connects to the city's extensive waterfront trail network. Like the northern segment, the southern trail section links to several parks along the way, including the sprawling Hollydale Park in South Gate, scenic Ralph C. Dills Park in Paramount and pleasant DeForest Park in Long Beach.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the northern section of the Los Angeles River Trail is available at Marsh Park in Los Angeles (2999 Rosanna Street/2944 Gleneden Street). For the southern section, parking can be found at Hollydale Park in South Gate (5400 Monroe Avenue), Ralph C. Dills Park in Paramount (6500 San Juan Street) and DeForest Park in Long Beach (6255 DeForest Avenue).

Los Angeles River Trail Reviews

Review of the North portion only

I ride it quite often, by often I mean almost every sunday morning year round...
But I ride the north portion only and not all the way for a combination of reasons.
First reason is, because of the river and the freeway, the path is pretty much a wind tunnel, so you waste a lot of energy when you have crosswind or front wind just fighting the wind.
Second reason is the fact the only shades you have on most of the path are from the bridges you cross, otherwise prepare to be frying specially between June and August.
Third reason are the homeless, I never had problems with them, but probably because Sunday mornings are relatively busy so they stay put, some are not even there by the time, but I wonder if that's the same on different hours with less traffic.
So what do I do them? First I stay on Riverside and ride the Zoo Drive all the way to the Crystal Spring Dr. until I reach the Los Feliz Blvd. and that's where I join the path, yes you have to share the road with some cars trying to reach the I-5, but if you use the crossing paths on traffic light and pay attention it's all good.
From there I ride to the end of the Greentrail (Near the Dodger Stadium) and return... On my way back I always stop by the Spokes Cafe around Atwater Village area. It's a nice cafe/bike shop focused on cyclists, not the cheapest place to stop by, but the food is high quality and the environment and staff are really nice and is a great place to meet other cyclists (before the pandemic was even better to share experiences and talk about cycling and making friends).
People that drive to the path, can park by the Griffith Park or another suggestion I would give if you wanna add some miles to your ride (specially if you have a EV this tip is golden cause that's what I sometimes do when I have to charge my car), park at Burbank Town Center (so you can leave your car on one of the chargers or superchargers for tesla owners) and ride from there through the bike lanes on San Fernando Blvd. to Riverside Dr. bike lane and them join the Bike Path or do as I do going thru the Griffith Park on Zoo Dr.

Nice Ride Along the LA River

This bike trail is a great ride, however, as of the date of this review, parts of it are under construction and closed. It's best to catch this trail at the south end near the San Fernando/Figueroa intersection as it will give you the best ride before hitting a trail closure at Colorado Blvd. You will not be able to ride all the way through to Griffith Park. The northern Griffith Park leg of the trail is open, but much of it detoured away from the LA river as this part of the trail is officially closed (but accessible from a broken chainlink fence).

The trail has it's fair share of homeless folks scattered about, but they are harmless. There are some cafes along the southern end of the trail that caters to the people both riding bikes and walking the trail.

Great trail

I have ridden the northern part of the trail (San Fernando Bl to the LA Zoo) for a couple years. This is a great ride. There is one homeless encampment towards Los Feliz. I have never felt threatened by anybody. Nor have I ever seen drugs exchanged. These are just poor souls trying to get by.

bike ride from Compton to Belmont Shores

I recently purchased a rode bike and have made afew trips from my home in Compton to Belmont Shores round trip, there are homeless people at several locations along the trail. Be very careful where you stop and rest. I will try the trail going north soon and report back. Travel with some friends to be safe.

Accordion

Dangerous trail

I visited Long Beach this year and took a bike ride up this trail from Long Beach. I no more than got on the trail and was harassed by people on the trail. I'll assume they were homeless. They yelled at me to never come back there again. I ran into a Marine Policeman and told him and he just said to just ride along the beach area of Long Beach that those people have a right to be there also. He said he can chase them away or I could press charges. Another person that was riding there said one of the people actually grabbed and stole a water bottle from their bike as they rode by.

Not Anymore

This bike path is great plenty of stops even locations for food drinks repairs along the route stop off at frog stop.

Nice trail but can be better

Took the kids first time on the trail starting at the Los Feliz Golf area. Parked and had to walk bikes up the entrance hill, on sidewalk and into entrance. I like the paved bike trail and riding along a river is nice, but up until you have a lot of homeless people along path in the bushes, in the river islands and lots of pee smells. It makes me feel uneasy to see drugees trading drugs right on the path. I don't think I'll use this los Feliz entrance again. We'll have to find a safer more comfortable way to enter and enjoy. Dont ride path alone. It can be intimidating. Or ride fast past the homeless and the tweeker section.

osborn2ride

I did this trail a few years ago and it is a very nice ride. I rode my bike over from Burbank and did the round trip and it was a very good work out. I was some what taken back that no one has done a review as the trail gets a lot of traffic.

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