Frequently Asked Questions


How does the new Heal the Bay study affect the kayaking program?
On Wednesday, July 27th, our partners at Heal the Bay released a report on water quality tests performed last summer in the LA River. While the results may seem discouraging, we believe ongoing education and participation is key to continued restoration of this unique piece of Southern California’s landscape and infrastructure.

The Corps dedicates year-round crews to cleaning the river and educating the community about what we can all do together to continue improving water quality. Additionally, our Paddle the LA River kayaking program offers guests a chance to explore a part of the city they may have been unfamiliar with and learn more about the impacts of urban life on local ecosystems all while enjoying a fun outdoor activity.

Safety and enjoyment are our primary concerns on these trips. We have and will continue to stress to staff, Corpsmembers, and guests the importance of taking precautions when recreating in this type of urban wilderness. We have and will continue to provide information and supplies for everyone to stay safe and healthy when they explore the LA River with us. And we will continue to work with our partners to do all we can to improve our local environment.  Thank you for your support of the Corps and our work!

Statement from Board of Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning on Heal the Bay study

How long will the program run?
Season begins Saturday, June 4 and ends Saturday, September 17, 2016

Where will the program take place?
The program will be offered at the Sepulveda Recreation Basin in the San Fernando Valley segment of the River. The Sepulveda Recreation Basin is a popular recreational center, has easy access by public transit, car, and bicycle.  The registration and passenger transport location will have directional signage off of Balboa Blvd, with parking nearby.  

Where is Registration/Check-in Site?
We will meet at:
Lake Balboa/Anthony C. Beilenson Park
6182 Balboa Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
*Parking lot is on your left once you enter park.

Directions from 101 Hollywood Freeway: Exit on Balboa Blvd and head north towards Burbank Blvd.  Continue past Burbank Blvd for half a mile and turn right onto the Anthony C. Beilenson Park entrance.  If you get to Victory Blvd you’ve gone too far.

Can I take the bus to the check-in site? 
The Sepulveda Basin is easily accessible via the Metro Orange Line; exit Balboa Blvd, walk south on Balboa Blvd for .03 miles to check-in site.  Approximately 6 min walk.

Why is there a fee and what does it cover?
The fee per participant is $30.00. This covers the rental of the kayak, safety equipment, labor, administration, equipment transport, and insurance. All sales are final, tickets are non-refundable.  

How do I register?
You will need to purchase tickets in order to register by clicking here. ALL TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE and may NOT be exchanged for other dates, please make sure you select a date that works for you.   

How many spaces are available?
Approximately 700 people will be able to participate this year through our program. We will run three (3) trips, fourteen (14) slots per trip, every Saturday. Fridays are set aside and programed for schools and youth programs.  Saturday tickets are open to public for purchase.

How long is the tour?
The entire experience is about 2 hours including registration, transportation to site and back to your car.

The river tour is 1.5 miles and will take approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours, round trip. 

What if I need to cancel my reservation? 
Tickets are non-refundable. 

Can I go into the river on my own?
Yes, the Sepulveda Basin is open to “on your own” recreational boating,  but you must follow the appropriate guidelines. Those can be found here.

Refund Policy
All tickets are non-refundable. Please make sure you pick a day that works for you. 
If we cancel your trip due to weather conditions In some cases we might be able to fit you in on a future trip, this however is not guaranteed. If we are unable to reschedule you from a cancellation due to weather conditions we will refund your ticket purchase value.

What kind of safety measures have you taken for this program?
Our river guides have received State Fire Marshal River and Flood Rescue training. All kayak program leaders are qualified on this class of water.  They are also certified in American Heart Association basic first aid and CPR. In addition, the guides have worked with other agencies on specific flood management protocols.  

What if it rains on the day of my scheduled trip?
Trips will be suspended in the event of rain or if the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a flash flood or thunderstorm warning or watch. In the event we are unable to accommodate you on another trip we will issue you a refund for your tickets. Please check this website the night before your tour date for any cancellation notices. 

When do I check in? 
We recommend that you arrive at the check-in site at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the trip in order to allow time to prepare you with the proper equipment, drive you down to the start point and assign you a kayak. Make sure to give yourself enough time for parking and walking to the check-in site. Please make sure to read the insurance and liability waiver ahead of time and that you understand the risks involved in this activity. You must bring a signed copy to the check-in.

Once I have a reservation, what should I bring?
Please bring your own reusable water container, water will be provided to fill your reusable container.

Will I get wet?
Yes, to board the kayaks, you will be expected to walk directly in the water so please wear close-toed shoes or water shoes that have a good rubber grip that you don't mind getting soaked. While kayaking, there is always the possibility of getting splashed/wet as well. 

We recommend that you:
-Wear sunscreen. 
-Bring a reusable water container, we will have water available onsite to refill your bottles.
-If you want to bring sunglasses, make sure they are the type that you do not mind loosing.
-Wear closed toed sandals/shoes or water shoes/sandals that have a good rubber grip No flip-flops please. Your shoes will get wet!
-Bring extra clothing to change into after the tour or bring large plastic bag or a towel to place over your car seat, as you will get wet.

Also, please leave all valuables at home. Your fingers will wrinkle with constant water contact and wedding rings could potentially come loose and fall in the water and earrings will get in the way of your safety helmet.  For keys or other absolutely necessary items, bring your own waterproof bag or container.  The guides, the LA Conservation Corps, and the Paddle The LA River program are not responsible for any lost items, which include items that fall into the river, or items left in your car.

Can I bring children or pets?
The Corps’ insurance limits the minimum age to 10 years and over.  Participants under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Pets are not allowed.

Is there a weight limit for the kayaks?
Yes, the weight limit is 250 lbs. 

Who are the partners in this program?
The Los Angeles Conservation Corps has partnered with Urban Semillas,  and Pacoima Beautiful to develop a high caliber recreation-education boating program for the public during the license period. The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is a non-profit organization that provides educational and training programs to young people. Since 1997, they have offered marine conservation and education programs at the SEA Lab, a hands-on science center located in Redondo Beach. The SEA Lab educates more than 30,000 youth and visitors about the importance of protecting our oceans and rivers. This program is a natural extension of this mission. Since 2009, the Corps has maintained a Los Angeles River Corps, a youth training program in partnership with the City of LA. This project combines classroom education with outdoor experience for our members and furthers the goals outlined in the City’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan through projects such as river clean-ups, litter abatement, graffiti removal and vegetation management in the Glendale Narrows segment of the River. Members participate in education and training sessions covering topics such as watershed habitat, native landscaping, river hydrology, ecology, and water quality management efforts. 

What will be offered during the trips?
Each tour will include a short training session, brief river history from our guides, educational talks from guest speakers when available, on the river and its habitat, water quality, safety, and information on LA River programs. Participants will get a chance to learn paddling skills, view wildlife, navigate a kayak on the LA River, and have fun.

Are there additional precautions?
Kayaking can be a strenuous water activity that will require some effort on your part, as you will be asked to help haul your kayak -- but please do not do anything that is beyond your capability -- and keep close to the group. Please be aware that you will get wet and there is a chance that your kayak could tip and that you could fall into the water.  

How can I support this program and the Los Angeles River?
You can participate by donating to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ river maintenance and boating program.