Los Angeles River headwaters, here at the confluence of Arroyo Calabasas and Bell Creek. Calabasas Creek begins near the Leonis Adobe with the merging of Dry Canyon Creek from the Santa Monica Mountains and McCoy Canyon Creek from a Simi Hills watershed.
Arroyo Calabasas and Bell Creek
The small concrete riverbed at Canoga Avenue. The initial Bell Creek a.k.a. Escorpion Creek headwaters of the Simi Valley Hills are on the property of Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory, then the water flows through Bell Canyon.
Los Angeles River concrete riverbed


City engineer William Mulholland once described the Los Angeles River as a beautiful little stream with willows on it's banks. But periodic flooding was an ongoing danger to the Los Angeles basin, espacially during the rain seasons of the years 1825, 1832, 1861, 1884 and 1914.
L.A. River Flooding
Flooding during the 2003 rain season as seen from a bridge at Griffith Park.
Los Angeles Rain Season
Los Angeles River flood control channel at Main Street bridge looking south
Flood control channel
Today the Los Angeles River is a 60-mile cement-lined flood channel leading from Canoga Park to the Long Beach Harbor. The fall of the river was between 16 and 23 feet per mile and his velocity and destructive power was carrying away orchards, vineyards, sheds and agricultural fields.
Flood control channel
Cement-lined flood channel at the 4th Street bridge looking towards downtown. Construction begun in 1938 and today 40% of the river is dammed, with the Sepulveda Flood Control Dam and the HANSEN DAM as main barriers to the stream's flow. Today environmentalists propose a rehabilitation of the banks with nature trails and parks as recreation area.

Long Beach from above
Panoramic view on the Los Angeles River at Long Beach and Marina Park.

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Los Angeles River in Vernon
The Los Angeles River in the City of Vernon. Before the water goes into the Pacific Ocean there will be more from Rio Hondo and Compton Creek.