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Dave Lumian, left and George Wolfe, right, along with others, walk their crafts through a section of the L.A. River where the water was too low for paddling. The river was recently declared a traditional navigable waterway, though this particular section was only navigable on foot.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Glen Jochimsen makes his way past a large graffiti image painted on the concrete banks of the L.A. River during a section known as the Glendale Narrows.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Looking from a bike trail near Griffith Park (Zoo Drive and the 134 Fwy), the Los Angeles River flows towards downtown Los Angeles during part of its 51-mile route through 13 cities.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

George Wolfe and Joe Linton walk their vessels through the shallows as they head down the L.A. River during a recent trip after the river's waters were declared a traditional navigable waterway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Glen Jochimsen makes his way down the L.A. River with the 5 Freeway freeway visible in the distance. The river, at 51 miles in length, was recently declared a traditional navigable waterway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A fern makes its home underneath one of the bridges that spans the L.A. River near Atwater Village.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Richard Le, originally from Saigon, Vietnam, pulls a carp out of the L.A. River during a recent fishing trip. Le says he doesn't eat the fish coming out of the river, just catches and releases them.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Rushing water cascades around boulders in the L.A. River near Atwater Village.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Joe Linton paddles through a picturesque section of the L.A. River which is more often associated with concrete than lush greenery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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Kayaking down the Los Angeles River

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Kayaking down the Los Angeles River

Photographer Rick Loomis, videographer Sachi Cunningham and reporter Louis Sahgun explored an 8-mile portion of the 51-mile Los Angeles River. Read the full story, watch the video.

Excerpt from the story — Environmental activist George Wolfe has always believed the best way to know a river is to kayak it. So when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently designated the entire Los Angeles River a “traditional navigable waterway,” he organized an expedition.

Toting a waterproof first-aid kit and a sack of binoculars, Wolfe led seven people clad in T-shirts, shorts, sun hats and life vests to a lush, eight-mile stretch of river bottom near Griffith Park known as the Glendale Narrows.

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