Greetings Canine Angelenos!
Welcome to Part 12 of my dog-centric journey along the Los Angeles River. Today we'll explore the river's mouth which, for some reason, is at the opposite end of its head. We'll have to figure that one out later because we've got a lot to sniff today. Let's get started!
We ended Part 11 at Catalina Landing, a man-made lagoon that protects the Catalina Express terminal. To continue, we have to walk around the lagoon, about .4 miles on pavement.
|Did you know that Catalina Express is dog friendly?|
Once around, we'll walk beneath the Queensway Bridge, the river's last bridge before the ocean. It connects the downtown waterfront with the Port of Long Beach and has bike/pedestrian access.
|I didn't count, but I've walked beneath about 100 bridges along the way.|
Past the bridge, Golden Shore Rd. approaches the path until a rotary alters its course. Beyond the rotary is a parking lot; the perfect place to leave the car for this adventure. At the end of the lot is the entrance to Shoreline Aquatic Park.
|Picturesque is the right way to describe this park.|
|A nice way to spend the morning.|
The path now winds along the south end of Rainbow Harbor, past a small beach, then ends at Pierpoint Landing - about a mile from where we started.
|Tiny, but it's not the size of the beach in the park...or something like that.|
Here you'll find restrooms, a snack bar, and a dog-friendly water fountain. Not far from the restrooms is the Long Beach Navy Memorial; dedicated in 2004 to commemorate the city's long relationship with the Navy.
|Armillary Sphere? Looks like a ball to me.|
After a cool drink, walk along the wooden boardwalk that circumnavigates Rainbow Harbor. This is the place to be if you're looking to rent or ride a boat. Along the way we'll pass the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Pine Avenue Pier, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
|Can you imagine a boat going up the LA River?|
The boardwalk ends near the base of an observation deck that connects with Convention Center Walkway, a pedestrian bridge over E. Shoreline Dr.. Climb the stairs and enjoy the view.
|Bell or spaceship? I can't decide.|
Now walk across the bridge and get a great view of Long Beach's waterfront shopping and entertainment district.
|Outdoor events around here are often dog-friendly.|
About halfway across the bridge, a spiral staircase takes us down to Rainbow Lagoon Park, a 12 acre sea-water filled pond with two small islands. A concrete path goes around the pond - connected to the islands by footbridges. Small trees line the path and plush grass is everywhere. It's kind of a "decorative" park, so no water or poop bags here.
|My album cover?|
When ready, exit the park near the footbridge closest to E. Shoreline Dr. (at the crosswalk). Cross to access Shoreline Village Dr.. To our left is Marina Green Park, a wide strip of grass that runs toward the beach for just under 1/2 mile.
|What's not to like about 9 acres of plush grass?|
Shoreline Village Dr. soon ends at the city owned Long Beach Shoreline Marina, where there are over 1,700 slips for recreational boats.
|I think I want a boat, but Pack Leader says no I don't.|
Follow the smell of food along the shoreline and you'll soon be in Shoreline Village, a replica old-school fishing village full of shops and restaurants.
|New England meets Southern California.|
Grab a snack for yourself and the dog then stroll down the bike/pedestrian path that stretches along the marina. This .6 mile path takes us to, perhaps, the best view of the Queen Mary there is.
|The views around Long Beach's harbor are unique to say the least.|
Along the way there are benches to sit on, piers to fish from, and nice grass to roll in. There are plenty of restrooms and trash cans too, but no water fountains and...you guessed it...no poop bags. The trail ends by the Harbor Master's office, across from Grissom Island.
|From here the ships, and the river's water, head out to sea.|
That's as far as we go on this side of the river's mouth, but we have one more place to visit before we're done - the South Waterfront. It's time to head back to the car and drive over the Queensway Bridge.
|Welcome to the Port of Long Beach|
You can access the bridge from Shoreline Dr. or Ocean Bl.. Once on the bridge, stay to the right and take the first exit. Stay to the right again because you'll soon exit onto Queensway Dr.. After a u-turn, a Residence Inn will be ahead on the left. Just prior to the hotel is the entrance to the South Shore Boat Launch. Enter the boat launch and park at the north end of the lot, away from the hotel.
Here we'll find a tiny park with picnic tables spread out along the shoreline. The grass is nice, small trees provide some shade, and a short path winds throughout. There are trash cans but no poop bags.
|Tiny and hard to get to, but the location is nice.|
Exit the park and walk a few hundred yards on the sidewalk; toward the hotel. Another tiny park with benches sits on the shoreline, but this one has restrooms, a water fountain, and the boat launch.
|This public boat launch is open 24 hours.|
Past the boat launch, near the entrance to the hotel, a concrete path leads you to the shoreline. In a moment, we'll pass beneath the Queensway Bridge again.
|A good spot to take five and enjoy the cool ocean air.|
Continuing on, the path winds between the river's mouth and the Maya hotel, offering amazing views of the Long Beach waterfront and the mountains beyond.
|The marina and the condos along Ocean Bl.|
The path ends at Queensway Dr., in front of the yacht club, .4 miles after it began.
|If you don't belong to the yacht club, you can take the Aqua Bus!|
About 200 feet up the sidewalk from here is the entrance to Harry Bridges Memorial Park (aka. Queen Mary Events Park). It's used for concerts, parties, and large events. It has restrooms, a large grassy field with a 1/4 mile loop path, and some incredible views. There are trash cans but no working water fountains or poop bags.
|I've got the whole place to myself today.|
The park is adjacent to a large parking lot and the home of one of Southern California's best known attractions, the Queen Mary. Dogs aren't allowed on board, but no visit to Long Beach is complete without a QM1 selfie...
|Sometimes, even a Queen has to wear a leash.|
Wow. It's done. I've traveled the entire river from the Valley to the LBC! It was so much more than I expected - all those parks and fun places to roll in the grass, the incredible scenery and intoxicating smells, the return of wildlife in many places...and it's changing all the time. A lot people are working hard to make the river something all Angelenos can be proud of. Part 1 of this adventure was written over a year ago and so much has happened since. I'll have to do this again soon.
See you on the river!
Some of the information I've shared in this blog was found at:
City of Long Beach
Long Beach Press-Telegram
All photographs were taken by my pack leader, Jim Gross.
Everything else was discovered by getting my paws dirty and the extensive use of my nose.
For pictures and information about the places I've visited upstream, click on the links below:
Part 1 - Western San Fernando Valley
Part 2 - Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area
Part 3 - Eastern San Fernando Valley
Part 4 - Burbank and Glendale
Part 5 - Glendale Narrows East
Part 6 - Glendale Narrows West
Part 7 - Downtown Los Angeles and Vernon
Part 8 - Vernon to South Gate
Part 9 - South Gate to North Long Beach
Part 10 - North Long Beach to the PCH
Part 11 - Pacific Coast Highway to Pacific Ocean