Rio de Los Angeles State Park

State Recreation Area

Rio de Los Angeles State Park and nearby Los Angeles State Historic Park serve the local communities and provide a unique State Park experience. Rio de Los Angeles (LA River) State Park is surrounded by industrial and residential areas, yet restoration of the park’s natural river wetlands allows a serene opportunity to all visitors who enjoy hiking trails, being surrounded by native plants and viewing returning wildlife.  The park also encompasses sports fields, a children’s playground and a recreation building.  A site once used mainly to repair and maintain railroad cars now offers visitors the chance to restore and replenish their inner needs.   Rio de Los Angeles State Park is currently managed in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.

Site Overview

In the 1960’s, a 247-acre freight switching facility called Taylor Yard began to slow down it’s operations during a time when Los Angeles was growing and expanding rapidly.  By 1985 it was closed and only used for maintenance and storage.  These parcels of land remained undeveloped along the channelized Los Angeles River.  Portions of the river near this park are still soft bottomed, or partially un-cemented, allowing for an opportunity to reestablish natural processes within the emerging Los Angeles River Greenway.  It is one of the last remaining undeveloped portions of land along the river to be used by communities as a park. 

The history of the park reaches back to when Los Angeles was emerging as an industrial superpower.  In 1923, due to congestion at the River Station (currently Los Angeles State Historic Park), the service and maintenance functions for the Union Pacific Railroad company were moved to Taylor Yard.  Taylor Yard had been named after J. Hartley Taylor who was a grain merchant and owned a milling company in the area.  Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s the property was a rail yard and an industrial site used primarily as a freight-switching facility, storage space and maintenance and repair facility for rail cars and locomotive engines.  Several utility shops were on the property, which provided electrical, plumbing and mechanical support services.  Shortly after World War I, the Southern Pacific Railroad outgrew its Midway Yard facility and moved to what is now Rio de Los Angeles State Park. Operations at the railroad complex slowed in the 1960’s when rail facilities opened elsewhere.

Location-Directions

The park is located at 1900 San Fernando Road in Los Angeles.  The I-5, SR 2 and the 110 Pasadena Freeway are within 2 miles of the park. Buses service the area from downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley.   A bus stop is located at the intersection of San Fernando Rd. and Fletcher Ave. forming the hub of a number of routes connecting downtown Los Angeles, Glendale, Sylmar and El Monte.  The Metro Gold Line also provides light rail service, and the nearest station is located at Avenue 26 about 1.3 miles south of the park and at French Avenue, just off of Figueroa Street (French Station) approximately 1.3 miles southeast.

Accessibility

The Park’s trails and restrooms are fully accessible.

·Park Information

  • Hours of Operation:

    The park is open 9am-10:30pm.

  • Park Office Telephone:

    (323) 276-3015

  • Region

    Los Angeles County

    County

    Los Angeles

  • Purchase Annual Passes

Telephone

323-276-3015 for
City of Los Angeles
213-620-6152 for
State Parks

Address

1900 San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA

California State Parks is proud to present the following podcast. This program is currently hosted by CA State Parks Foundation.
Park Cast Icon
Podcast 6: Rio de Los Angeles State Park (Transcript)
For more podcasts of other California State Parks, visit CA State Park Foundation Podcast Series