Guide to The LA River Bike Path (Elysian Valley Section)

The LA River Bike Path actually consists of two sections, the Elysian Valley section and the Long Beach-Veron section.  Here, we are only talking about the Elysian Valley section. The LA River Bike Path (Elysian Valley Section) is a 7.4-mile trail that follows the LA River from Burbank to Cypress Park.  The trail is paved and features underpasses and overpasses that allow riders and runners to avoid crossing busy streets.


Where to Start and Finish:

  • START:  Confluence Park/Faces of Elysian Valley at 2011 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065. Parking at Home Depot.
  • END:  Forest Lawn Dr and 134 Freeway. Parking near Travel Town.

Scenery:

While most of the LA River is simply a concrete flood channel with nothing more than cement walls, this section actually has a soft bottom.  As a result this section of the river has managed to trap sediment, seeds and organic material which has allowed for small islands to form that can support trees and shrubs, making it look like an real river once again. 

LA River Bike Path

Difficulty Level:

EASY.  There is nothing hard or technical about this trail.  Its flat, paved, shaded and not very long.  But the views are nice!

Safety: 

Despite what you may see on your journey down the trail, it’s mostly safe.  The one caveat that I want to mention is that there is a large homeless population that lives on the islands that have formed on the rivers soft bottom.  From the path above you can see small encampments with tents, tables and clothing lines.  Personally, Ive never had any issues along this path.

LA River Homeless

Things to See and Do:

Shockingly enough, this trail actually feels like you are biking along a real river…well, for some of it.  Things to see and do consist of:

  • River Kayaking:  There are three licensed rental companies currently
  • Biking and Running
  • Fishing:  Just don’t eat them fishes!
  • Restaurants and coffee houses

Food and Drink:

One of the nice things about this path is that food and drink spots are starting to open up.  They typically cater to a young and hip crowd.  Some of the most notable are:

  • Spoke Café
  • Colombe Coffee
  • Frog Town Brewery

Review:

This is actually one of my favorite places to ride my bike in LA.  Only the beach probably tops it.  Reason….it has nature right next to downtown, “interesting” people, and food and drink along the way.

December 22, 2019