Sepulveda Basin L.A. River Recreation Zone

The Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone in Los Angeles extends for two miles and offers some of the best bird-watching, fishing, and kayaking opportunities in the area. It serves as a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the nearby urban activity. The Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone is one of the two segments of the Los Angeles River where a natural, earth-bottom riparian habitat is fostered.

The Japanese Garden, Lake Balboa, Anthony C. Beilenson Park, and the Tillman Water Reclamation plant, which processes 40 million gallons of water per day, along with the Sepulveda Dam and its vast 2,000-acre area, encompass a wildlife reserve that provides essential habitat space. Originally intended as a flood control basin, the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area offers a variety of recreational activities.

Learn more about the Regulations and Safety guidelines for the River Recreation Zone (RRZ) here.

ACCESS POINTS

The Middle Access Point, exclusively caters to walkers on the specified pathway. At the South Boundary Access points, launching boats is strictly prohibited. However, both the North and South Boundary Access points offer boat launch facilities. Depending on the activity, there are three access points that can be utilized. The Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone spans approximately two miles from Balboa Boulevard, located just south of Victory Boulevard, to the western side of Woodley Avenue.

To utilize mapping applications, employ the estimated location of 16212 Burbank Boulevard, Encino, CA 91436. The entrance to the Sepulveda Basin River Recreation Zone is situated to the west of Woodley Avenue on Burbank Boulevard.

  • The access point at the northern boundary, located off Balboa Boulevard to the south of Victory Boulevard.
  • Middle Access Point, Pedestrians ONLY. Next to Hayvenhurst Channel. Access limited to designated L.A. River Trail only – boat launch NOT permitted.
  • The entryway on the southern edge, close to Woodley Avenue and adjacent to Burbank Boulevard, can be found on the left-hand side of the river.
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    DIRECTIONS TO THE NORTH BOUNDARY ACCESS POINT (A1)

    (A2) Continue on the bike path to access the middle point of the River L.A. Bridge. Proceed south, passing through the entrance of Anthony C. Beilenson Park, and turn left on Balboa Boulevard. Follow the Orange Metro Line bikeway along Victory Boulevard to reach the entrance of Balboa Park.

    The access point is situated prior to the bridge on the right side of the river. In order to reach the L.A. River Bridge, head south towards the Balboa Boulevard exit and board the Metro Orange Line using public transportation.

    Access to the river is available by walking north to the bridge at the right point of the river. There is parking available at the Complex Sports Basin in Sepulveda on the right side. Turn right onto Balboa Boulevard. Go west on Burbank Boulevard. Go west on Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys. Exit the car at the Burbank Boulevard exit of the 405 Freeway.

    To access the bridge over the River L.A., Walk north on the right side of the river. There is parking available at the Sepulveda sports basin complex on the right side of the river. Go north on Balboa Boulevard. Alternatively, you can take the 101 freeway exit in Encino at Balboa Boulevard.

    DIRECTIONS TO THE SOUTH BOUNDARY ACCESS POINT (A3)

    At present, there are no bike stands. Please go to the entrance point positioned prior to the bridge and proceed westward to carry on towards Burbank Boulevard. Stay on the right side and cross Burbank Blvd to continue. Continue south and make a right turn onto Woodley Avenue. Utilize the Metro Orange Line bikeway by riding a bicycle.

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    On the left side of the river, positioned prior to the bridge, proceed to the entry point by strolling towards the west and crossing Burbank Blvd. Head towards the south on Woodley and continue further south to reach the L.A. River by utilizing the Metro Orange Line and disembarking at Woodley Avenue.

    Positioned ahead of the bridge, on the left side of the river, proceed to the entry point by crossing Burbank Blvd and walking towards the west. Adhere to the parking guidelines indicated by the signs for parking along the side of the road on Woodley Avenue. Make a right turn onto Woodley Avenue and head west on Burbank Boulevard after leaving the 405 Freeway at Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys, using a vehicle.

    Located on the left side of the river, before the bridge, proceed to the entry point by walking towards the west and crossing Burbank Blvd. Observe the signs regarding parking regulations and locate available parking spaces along the road. Make a left turn onto Woodley Avenue, and then make a right turn onto Burbank Boulevard. Proceed north on Balboa Boulevard after leaving the 101 Freeway in Encino.

    KAYAK

    The site is mapped for access points (A1 & A3), where any member of the public can launch a non-motorized, steerable boat such as a kayak or canoe. Swimming is not allowed. Please note that river conditions and hazards can change without prior notice. In the River Recreation Zone, various organizations offer rentals and guided tours. You can find a list of outfitters on this page [Link to outfitters page]. The water in this area is suitable for easy paddling, with Class I flows being typical. However, there may be certain spots with rocks that could pose navigation difficulties. In such cases, kayakers may need to exit their boats and walk (portage). The map will indicate the locations of portage areas.

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    FISH

    Fish species such as mosquito fish, green sunfish, tilapia, and largemouth bass are found in the Los Angeles River. An angling permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is necessary. In order to safeguard the natural habitat, fishing is prohibited on the prohibited shores extending from Hayvenhurst Channel to Burbank Boulevard. However, fishing is permitted along the unrestricted shores of the Los Angeles River and from a watercraft in the Sepulveda Basin.

    EXPLORE

    Swimming is prohibited. You are invited to stroll along the shores of the river that are clearly indicated with signs. Indigenous ecosystem and fauna thrive in the sedimentary section of the river. There is plenty to discover within the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone at the Sepulveda Basin.

    The L.A. River Recreation Zone is a major north-south flyway for a huge variety of birds, which frequently sight snowy egrets and osprey along the densely vegetated shoreline. Great blue herons are often seen feeding on frogs and fish, providing rest and food for a wide range of birds that visit this area. It is also a significant habitat for migratory birds in the Pacific Flyway.

    The areas indicated by the red lines on the map are sensitive habitats that are restricted for pedestrian and fishing use during the nesting season to protect them. This area is also home to many bird species, including the Endangered Federally and State Endangered Bell’s Vireo and Least Vireo.

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