Places to Visit: Dominguez Gap
April 1, 2009 § 5 Comments
It’s getting to be the best time of the year to visit the Dominguez Gap. I was there yesterday with Jared Orsi’s class from Occidental College. There were lots of wildflowers already in bloom – lupines (of many colors), poppies, tidy tips, and quite a few others that I can’t quite identify. The county irrigates the site, so the flowers should be blooming through April and perhaps longer. In addition to the wildflowers, there’s plenty of wildlife. We saw turtles, coots, ducks, swallows, egrets, great blue herons, and green herons.
The Dominguez Gap is an stretch of the Los Angeles River located in the north end of Long Beach. The Compton Creek confluence is there (on the west side of the river), but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re likely to miss it. This stretch of river has an anonymous trapezoidal concrete channel, not unlike most of the lower river. In the Dominguez gap, though, there are low earthen side channels running parallel to the main river. Last year, the County Public Works department completed a project that renovated and re-plumbed the side channels, including adding a great deal of native vegetation. There’s interpretive signage, and walk and bike paths traversing the site. For an excellent tour of the site, see the Long Beach Natural Areas blog.
The main 37-acre East Basin linear park area is located on the east side of the Los Angeles River, extending downstream from Del Amo Boulevard to the Metro Blue Line. The Lario Bike Trail runs along it. (On the other, less accessible, side of the river, there’s an additional 14-acre West Basin, though it’s not quite as flashy.)
How to get there:
TRANSIT: Take the Metro Blue Line, exit Del Amo Station. Walk (or bike) a quarter mile east on Del Amo to the river.
CAR: Take the 710 Freeway. Exit Del Amo Boulevard. Head east on Del Amo. Turn right on Oregon Avenue and park.