The Los Angeles River flows south to the Pacific Ocean, and the Los Angeles River Trail and Bikeway follows the course of the river from Vernon to its end in Long Beach. The river overflowed several decades ago, and the city responded by building up its banks with concrete to prevent another flood. Sometimes the river is a mere trickle, other times, during or after a rain, water actually flows through the river channels. Because of this, the trail is very easy with little ascents and descents, and for much of the way, the only living creatures you and your pup will see are other dogs with their humans, but it is a great place to exercise without having to climb rocks or slide down piles of dirt.
The northern trailhead is at Hollydale Park where you'll find parking, restrooms and a drinking fountain. There are several similar access points and resting places along the way, including at San Juan Street, San Luis Street, the Ralph C. Dills Park, and DeForest Park. At one point, you'll cross the river via the Imperial Highway Bridge, which offers a good look up and down the trail. The end point is where the trail meets the Shoreline Aquatic Bike Trail in Long Beach.
Other trails intermittently meet up with the Los Angeles River Trail, such as the Rio Hondon Trail, which can send you off in another direction entirely. And the parks you'll encounter have their own attractions to make your walk more interesting, scenic and refreshing, with their water, restrooms, grass, trees and benches.
This main section of the Los Angeles River Trail is part of a larger trail corridor which includes the Glendale Narrows Elysian Valley Section north of Vernon. This 14-mile out-and-back section has a higher elevation change and is shorter, and it is possible to access it from the northern trailhead of the main trail by car from Dodger stadium.
Whether you challenge yourself and your fur-buddy to travel the full length of the trail, or pop on and off at different places along its path, it provides an easy way to enrich your doggo's life and work off some of his excess energy, too!
This is not the most scenic hike you will ever take, as it travels through urban areas, but intermittent green parks provide some respite with signs of wildlife, flowers and trees. Because it is asphalt, be aware of how hot your pup's paws may be getting and take precautions against painful burns. Bring water, maybe wear a hat, as there is little shade along the trail. You will be sharing the trail with bicyclists and perhaps in-line skaters, so be aware of their presence and keep to the right so they can pass.