Kayaking the Los Angeles River (Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone), CA - August 2016

NOTE: Life has been insane lately and so my attention turned away from the blog and I was only reminded recently, when I saw that the kayaking season on the L.A. River is opening again, that I had never written about my last trip in August 2016!

tl;dr - Go kayaking on the L.A. River, either location, this year!

Back in August 2013 I had kayaked the L.A. River for the first time - the Glendale Narrows portion (now referred to as the Elysian Valley Zone). You can read about my experience here. It was great, so I was eager to go again and this time I decided to book a trip on the more "wild" portion of the river - the Sepulveda Basin.

Once again, I went with L.A. River Expeditions but if you have the experience and equipment you can kayak the river anytime Memorial Day to Labor Day. Any member of the public is welcome to walk, fish, and kayak in the Recreation Zones free of charge. You do not need a permit unless you are part of an organized group. More info on the website for the L.A. River Recreation Zone.

The last time I went alone, but for this trip I went with a friend who lives down near San Diego. She wasn't sure how it would go considering she'd not kayaked before (she'd white water rafted I think) and sometimes got sick on boats, but was up for trying it out.

She didn't have any trouble at all and we both really enjoyed the trip. It's a completely different way to experience L.A. This part of the river definitely feels more peaceful and wild than the section in Elysian Valley, but both of them had a wide variety of plant and bird life. The L.A. River Recreation Zone is located in the Pacific Flyway, which is a major north-south flyway for migratory birds and a huge variety of birds visit here to hunt for food and rest.

This section seemed deeper to me (we weren't getting stuck on the rock/concrete bottom) and there were no rapids (in contrast with the Elysian Valley Zone) so may be better for newbies.

The bonus of this trip is that it's very close to the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve which I describe in a post here. So many birds and such a peaceful place right off the freeway.

Here are some photos from the trip (not many since I was busy paddling my kayak!)

If you want to go with L.A. River Expeditions make sure to book your trip soon. They regularly sell out and you can only kayak the river until Labor Day. Enjoy!