Lower Owens River

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.

Read more


Latitude: 36.7432861 Longitude: -118.1140137 Elevation: 3716 ft

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.



ADA Accessibility Notes

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

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are welcome.


Jon, this is a great nomination! I can't wait to go paddle this stretch of river!

Bob Kingman, 2/8/2011

Heading to Taboose Creek in April to camp and explore for a few days. With this season's rain and snow, this stretch of water should be great!

Pam McN, 2/28/2017

Leave a Comment