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Lower Owens River

Lake, River, or Waterfall
Kayakers can now float sections of the Lower Owens River, thanks to the river restoration effort. Anglers and birdwatchers are also able to enjoy the \"new\" waterway. – Los Angeles Department of Water

ADA Accessibility Notes

No developed sites, but vehicles can, at some points, get right next to the stream.

Starting between Big Pine and Independence, 52 miles of "new" river is coming to life. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is undertaking one of the largest river restoration efforts in the country by "re-watering" the Lower Owens River. The river had been dry since its water was diverted in 1913 into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Today, the mitigation measures of the Lower Owens River Project aim to help re-claim and re-green some of the Owens Valley.

Water has been flowing into the once dry riverbed since 2005, and the changes the water has created have been dramatic and encouraging. Plants and trees are springing to life along the new riverbed, and wildlife, from coyotes to ducks, have found a new stomping ground.

The river is accessible to the public from both sides, but vehicle access is easier from the west side. In the coming years an entire river ecosystem will come back to life, which will be quite a sight to see and an experience to share.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are welcome.

Recreational Opportunities

Fishing, kayaking, canoeing but just barely because the stream channel is narrow and the water flows quite slowly. Expect to paddle quite a bit. Birdwatching, hiking, walking, mountain biking, photography.


Seasons Accessible

The river is accessible all year. Rainfall might make the dirt roads a bit tough to travel on.



Nearby Places