Mar
17
2011

Los Angeles Running Route: The Rio Hondo

Bridge Over The Rio Hondo

For those in Los Angeles County who may not be able to trek towards the beach without hitting the freeway and are not within arm’s reach of a National Forest (yes I’m referring to you South and Eastern Los Angeles), there is always urban trail running along the Los Angeles River and my most recent discovery, Rio Hondo (an tributary of the Los Angeles River).

The Rio Hondo Channel is approximately 20 miles in length and its source waters are found in the San Gabriel Mountains.  It is accessible from Irwindale, Whittier Narrows, Pico Rivera and Downey (among others). I happened upon the Rio Hondo one day while trying to loop around the LA River Bike Path route I usually take. The area where the Rio Hondo outlets into the LA River is pretty much a dry bed of concrete, but the path is very clean and the surrounding areas serene (for those of you who are familiar with the areas).

The Rio Hondo is also a part of the revitalization of bike and trail paths supported by the Sierra Club and other organizations contributing to the quaint parks along the river.

I’ve been doing my long runs along the Rio Hondo as a change of pace from the LA River.  It offers uninterrupted bike paths for a longer stretch than the usual paths I happen to take, and it’s always a good idea to change up the scenary every now and then when you are mentally/physically trying to conquer long distances.

If you are a local to the area, this is a great route to take for an uninterupted long run (no obligatory rests at stop lights). Watch out for occasional cyclists speeding by you (I usually come across 2-3) and if possible run with a friend and during daylight hours.

Elevation Gain: 80-100 ft at most, though the hills along the bike path near overpasses are minimal.

Difficulty: Easy. The route is mostly flat and either fresh concrete or asphalt line the bike path.

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About the Author: Jennifer Tran

She's a runner, rebel and a stunner. On her merry way saying, 'Baby, whatcha gonna?' Looking down the barrel of a hot metal .45 - just another way to survive.

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