Maps & Trails
Whittier Narrows Natural Area Parking Lot to San Gabriel River Bike Trail
The Whittier Narrows Natural Area is renowned for its diverse bird species. You are encouraged to take a hike and look for the over 300 species of birds that can be found in this special place. At the southern end of the parking lot you will find the path which will lead you to the San Gabriel River. This walk will take you past a restored natural area which includes local native plants, Lario Creek (Zone 1 Ditch per L.A. County Public Works), and the San Gabriel River Bike Trail. The Bike Trail provides a great vista the San Gabriel River in a reach that is usually filled with water and serves as a respite for local wildlife. While bike riding is not permitted in the Whittier Narrows Natural Area, you can park in the lot and walk your bike to this site to explore either the San Gabriel or Los Angeles Rivers.
San Gabriel River Multi-Purpose & Bike Trail
The San Gabriel River Bike trail extends 38 miles starting at a Ranger Station at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and ending at the Pacific Ocean in Seal Beach. The northern segment of the bike and multi-purpose trail begins near Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, where riders can continue north to Azusa and Duarte (via the San Gabriel River Trail), or South to Seal Beach. The multi-purpose trail is used by equestrians. This is also a segment of the “Emerald Necklace” which connects communities along the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers.
From Whittier Narrows, the path follows the River north into South El Monte, Baldwin Park and Irwindale to the Santa Fe Dam. The path crosses the river on Arrow Highway next to the main spillway, then loops back to climb a steep ramp up to the rim of the dam. The path traces the rim of the dam around to the east of the flood basin and park, with access at Azusa Canyon Drive (main entrance to park). The path runs to the end of the dam abutment near the Miller Brewery and turns west to jog back to the river. The path finally ends at State Route 39 where it exits the narrow canyon in the extreme north of Azusa.
To the South the trail passes several parks including proposed connections to Pio Pico State Historic Park, the Pico Rivera Spreading Grounds, and parks in the cities of Santa Fe Springs, Lakewood, and Bellflower. The largest park along the bike path is El Dorado Regional Park in Long Beach. The bike trail ends at the Pacific Ocean in Seal Beach.
Rio Hondo Multi-Purpose & Bike Trail—Connection to L.A. River Bike Path
The connection from the Natural Area to the Rio Hondo trail starts at the intersection of Durfee and Rosemead Blvd. By taking the North West bike connection a rider can go north to the trails current terminus at Peck Park. There are plans underway to connect the “Emerald Necklace” via a designated bike trail east to the San Gabriel River Bike trail however currently there is only access to this connection via streets.
By taking the Rio Hondo bike trail South West from Rosemead you will pass several great parks and bike stops recently improved with State bond funds in Montebello, Pico Rivera, South Gate, Paramount and Long Beach. At the northern border of South Gate the bike path merges with the lower segment of the Los Angeles River (LARIO) trail at Imperial Highway. This trail continues southward along the 710 freeway. The Los Angeles River trail ends at Golden Shore in Long Beach where it connects directly to the north end of the very scenic Long Beach bike trail. From the Long Beach Bike Trail there is a connection via streets to the San Gabriel River Bike path.
Whittier Narrows Natural Area Nature Center Lake Trail Loop
This trail is perfect for those families with young children just beginning to explore the outdoors. The trail loop is a short ¼ mile walk which offers opportunities to view native plants, birds and other native species. The western end of the loop provides a viewing area of a lake which provides water for birds and other species. Improvements to this area have been made by local Boy Scout troops.
Whittier Narrow Natural Area Connection to Whittier Narrow Recreation Area
From the Lake Trail it is possible to reach the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area by using the gate located off Edison Road and crossing Durfee Road at Santa Anita Avenue. Legg Lake is provides opportunities for observing migratory birds which are drawn to this large body of water in the Whittier Narrows.