I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to live other than Los Angeles. Unless my friends decided to move to the San Francisco Bay area, LA remains the greatest place on the west coast, perhaps the country. The variety of scenes, people, climates, and roads is unbeatable. I’ve been all over the city and discovered its endless photo spots, but I finally found one of the last pieces to my LA knowledge puzzle: the river.

  • Car: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (me; @chrishasacamera on IG)
  • Camera: iPhone 11 Pro Max

It might be one of the most well-guarded open secrets of the entire city, and with good reason. Out of respect for the place, I won’t say how to get it in. I will say that if you use some scouting skills and Google Maps, it will become fairly evident. Still, I don’t see too many folks visiting, with the exception of the occasional gathering.

The experience of driving down into one of the most iconic places on the planet cannot be fathomed. I’ve spent my entire life in and around the city and this is by far the coolest thing to do here. The river feels like a glassed planet, utterly barren and monochrome from its expanses of concrete with the beautifully detailed architectural treasures that are Los Angeles’ famous bridges acting as watchmen over the concrete mesa.

It isn’t lacking for activity either. Every 10 minutes the Metro Gold Line breathes over its dedicated bridge. Another 20 and the Metrolink passenger train bumbles along a track above the east side of the river. If you’re lucky, the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner streaks across the west bank of concrete. An easy hour can be spent here with no shortage of peace, calm, or intrigue. It has easily become my favorite place in LA, and I already feel the need to parse it out and keep visits special. 

As big as we can get it:

Mystic Blue in the Mystical LA River