Glendale Narrows / Elysian Valley Bike Path

This 7.4 mile path takes you along one of the nicest soft-bottom sections of the river. Sure, there’s a concrete bank and yes, it runs at times alongside the traffic on I-5 traffic. But the best parts of it take you through a prettier, greener section, and ends near the spot where the city of Los Angeles was founded. The upper part of the route, which passes through the Glendale Narrows, offers unfettered views of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains.  Though traffic in the area is steady, it’s rarely congested. For much of the route, the bike path drops below grade, which helps to drown out the interstate.  The lower part of the route, beginning near Atwater Village, has a series of islands in the river, with gentle whitewater rapids bubbling between them. Birds and fish abound here, making it one of the best birding locations in Southern California. Herons, egrets, ducks, geese and kingfishers go about their business as hawks, eagles circle above. The area is filled with human wildlife, too, with walkers, joggers, bicyclists, horseback riders, fishermen and artists enjoying the scenery. 

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Starting Point

Surrounding the Bette Davis Picnic Area on Riverside Drive and Rancho Ave is limited street parking.

Directions to the Start

Transit  Metro Gold Line to Lincoln Heights / Cypress Park (@ Ave. 26).

 Car text

Starting Point Parking

Surrounding the Bette Davis Picnic Area on Riverside Drive and Rancho Ave is limited street parking.

Ending Point

Egret Park is where the trail ends for now. You can also stop by peddling on Riverside Dr. over the river to the LA River Gardens Center.

Ending Point Parking

LA River Center & Gardens has a bona fide parking lot.

Nearby Parks

Better Davis Picnic Area - This small picnic ground, just east of the L.A. Equestrian Center, is named after the film star who reportedly lived in one of the large houses along Rancho Avenue, across from the park.

North Atwater Park - Located across from Griffith Park on 3900 W. Chevy Chase Drive, just off the Colorado Street exit of the 1-5 Freeway, this small park offers volleyball and basketball courts, a baseball diamond, as well as restrooms and a children’s play area.

Griffith Park - With over 4,210 acres, this is the largest park in LA. It offers ample parking and numerous bike paths for the LA River.

Rio de Los Angeles State Park - Across the river from the bike, this 17+ acre park, opened in 2007, offers open space, soccer fields, restrooms, and a natural habitat hiking path. It is currently separated from the river by railroad tracks and the Taylor railyard. In the future, the plan is to connect it to the Taylor Yard and river.

Steelhead Park - The wrought iron fence around this park is adorned with a steelhead trout, the LA River’s native fish. Located on the river at Oros Street, the park features a small outdoor amphitheater.

Oso Park - At the corner of Riverside Dr. and Oros St, this small community park features sculptures of the wildlife that once roamed the river.

Egret Park - Perched between Riverside Drive, the I-5 Freeway and the LA River, this small park features river access and a variety of native plants.

Rattlesnake Park - Located just off Fletcher Drive, this pocket park features the Great Heron Gates, an artistic interpretation of the wildlife of the LA River, designed by sculptor Brett Goldstone.

River Garden Park - Located at the northern tip of the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, this small park adds much need green space to the confluence area.

Sightseeing Highlights

Los Angeles River Center - A mission-style facility located near the confluence of the LA. River and the Arroyo Seco, the LA River Center is the site of the former Lawry’s Restaurant Center. Today the Center offers a bicycle staging area with drinking fountain, a repair station and restroom, as well as a visitor center about the River, and a picnic, garden and park area.

Nearby Dining

Pecos Bill's Bar-B-Q


1551 Victory Boulevard

Glendale, CA 91201-2940
(818) 241-2750

Dulce Vita


1608 Victory Boulevard

Glendale, CA 91201-2972
(818) 247-2200

Mambo's Cafe


 1701 Victory Boulevard

Glendale, CA 91201-2833
(818) 545-8613

Chinda Barbeque & Restaurant


1714 Victory Boulevard

Glendale, CA 91201-2834
(818) 247-1851

El Atacor Restaurant 11


2622 North Figueroa Street

Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 441-8477

Lupita's Restaurant
634 Idell Street
Los Angeles, CA 90065-1057
(323) 223-7835