East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere) is a 9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Azusa, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
This trip takes you along the banks of the east fork of the San Gabriel River. While the river banks are wooded and quite lovely, most of the trail traverses the rim above the high water line and most of your travel is through scrub brush. The highlight of the hike is a mysterious bridge built over the east fork in 1936, which has no road leading to it. Actually, in the 1930's a road did lead to it, but was swept away by floods in 1938. There are some small trails that lead down to the stream just after you cross the bridge. This is a stunning setting with shear pink tinted granite walls, roaring cascades, and the lovely bridge in the background. Route finding was a bit challenging with many day use trails mixed in with the main trail, washed out sections of trail, and over a half dozen stream crossings (bring waterproof boots even when the water is low). I was also astounded at the number of swimming holes. This place must be a zoo in the heat of the summer! The trail along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to the Bridge to Nowhere is not only one of the best trails in Southern California, but it's also one of the most unique hiking experiences you'll ever have. After you leave the crowded (and overused) trailhead area, you will increasingly find yourself awed by the rugged canyons deep in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. Multiple river crossings and shaded glens await you on this trek, with the final destination a 130-foot concrete span bridge leftover from an attempt to build a road north through the canyon. Most of the road is gone, now, but the bridge still stands - and is full of bungee jumpers on the weekends. A short trail down from the bridge leads to some top-notch swimming holes, making this a perfect hike on a hot, summer day.
Love the hiking trail, even we were unable to get to the bridge. Will try to hike again in another or two. Awesome view!!
Great freaking hike, I love how with the recent rains we've had have made it much more to enjoy & add to the difficulty to the hike!! Me and my girlfriend had a blast.
Great hike. Would have been better if we were actually able to make it to the bridge, but the recent rain storms seem to have made the river quite difficult to cross. We weren't able to make it more than about a mile and a half in. There were other people on the trail as well who had previously hiked it and knew the route, but were unable to make the river crossing due to the high level and rushing waters. Maybe if you go with the bungee company they bring tools to help cross the rushing river? But it was still a great hike! Had to do some bouldering over a few steep rocks, so it felt like an adventure! There was even a small waterfall! Definitely going to try this hike again when we haven't just had a rainstorm.
Beautiful trail! The hike in and out can be quite dodgy if you don't know what you're doing, but it is certainly a worthwhile trek to the bridge. Bring lots of water, snacks, and sunscreen. Also please port your trash out. There are places that are starting to look awful because people don't pick up after themselves. Also leave your tagging supplies at home. Stop ruining nature for the rest of us!
There were sections where crossing the stream was absolutely required for us and I wish I had planned my footwear better. The trail seemed pretty crowded, and while it is long, I would not call this hard. Rather moderate in my opinion.
My favorite hike of all time! Going for round 4 today!
Great hike. Get to the trail head early so you can get a parking spot. Heavily hiked trail, super fun and testing. Will do again and again.
Amazing trail, great experience, for a person that loves hiking but doesn't have enough time in his hands, this was a great one to do! Yes it's a long distance and almost took most of our day BUT was all worth it! Was able to see rams and the trail it self up to the bridge is great!
This was a great hike. It kinda kicked my butt, but I wasn't ready to hike that far. The river was a bit higher than normal I think. There had been some pretty good rain fall a week prior. I imagine if we'd gone right after the rain the river would have been even higher.
Bring a lunch! Had we had more food, we'd have been happier hikers, I think.
When we started out at 9:40am it was 36*f. We went Dec. 18th. We all wore a fair amount of layers, so it wasn't too bad once we started moving. I just wish I had on a windbreaker, sometimes the wind was cutting my layers. It was very windy at the bridge.
The bridge was very cool, knowing the history. All along the river you can see signs of the old smaller bridges and sections of road that washed out in 1938. I sort of wish the forestry service would utilize the bridge pylons for hikers to cross the river, but it just keeps things more interesting having to find your own way across.
This is a great trail! Don't be worried about it's rating of "hard". If you hike a couple of smaller trails here and there building up, then you can handle it. But just remember to bring extra socks, small towel or water proof boots. You will get wet in sneakers. The rocks are slippery and the trail crosses many times. Bring snacks and a lunch and lots of water too.
Nothing too special about this hike. Was kind of disappointed in the lack of beauty of it but that's what you get hiking around LA sometimes, especially if the trail is popular.
Starts off nice being in the greenery and next to the shallow river. As you go you cross multiple times and eventually it widens out in between the mountains. Stick to the river for a majority until you come to the really wide spot about 4 miles in, then head right up the trail.
Bridge itself is meh. Cool how it's out there but nothing all that special about it. You can tell that if you were to keep pressing on past the bridge you would be in more of a mountainous ecosystem surrounded by pines.
All in all took our times and finished the 10.2 miles in 5.5 hours
Great group, challenging hike but didn't love the actual bridge.