LA River and Rio Hondo trails

The Rio Hondo trail starts at a  reservoir North of El Monte and merges into the lower segment of the Los Angeles River (LARIO) trail at Imperial Highway. The Rio Hondo trail heads south through the Whittier Narrows region where it is a short hop over to Legg Lake and the San Gabriel river trail. If you remain on the Rio Hondo trail you merge with the LA river. This trail continues southward parallel with the 710 freeway. This central section is not as scenic as the ocean front or park trails but it is less crowded and there are a number of small parks along the route. Currently the middle part of the trail is under construction and becomes a dirt path near the 105 freeway. The middle part of the LA River trail is through socially challenged areas so one needs to watch out for broken glass bottles and other debris along the trail. The Los Angeles River trail finally ends up at the ocean where it connects directly to the north end of the very scenic Long Beach bike trail.

The trail starts here at the El Monte reservoir. The San Gabriel mountains are in the distance.

The Rio Hondo trail passes directly under the approach into El Monte airport.

The Rio Hondo nature center is one of the many sights in the Whittier Narrow region. If you head east from here, you will first pass Legg Lake and then end up at the 4 corners junction of the San Gabriel river trail. If you go south, you will continue along the Rio Hondo trail to the LA river junction and finally end up at the Long Beach harbor.

Oil field equipment in the Whittier Narrows region. 

The base of the Whittier Narrows dam 

Unfortunately, the bike trail is well marked with grafitti from the local gangs.  

A common sight along the LARIO trail. This time, the trail stops suddenly several miles South of the Whittier Narrows region. I have not yet been able to ride through the central section due to the ongoing construction.

A 360 degree panoramic view along the LA River just south of the 405 freeway. 

Approaching Long Beach in the late afternoon. Several tall harbor cranes are visible in the distance.  

The trail ends at the harbor where it joins up with the scenic Long Beach bike trail.

Rating: * *
Season: Anytime -- Summer can be quite hot.
Difficulty: Moderate (due to length) -- trail is often unpassible due to ongoing construction.
Hazards: Significant gang activity, broken glass from drunks, strong offshore winds.

Home > LA outdoors > Bicycles

Copyright 2000 by Dan Slater, All rights reserved.