Bridge to Nowhere via East Fork Trail

MODERATE 1,252 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Bridge to Nowhere via East Fork Trail is a 8.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Azusa, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,158 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

rails trails

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

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). There are many swimming holes. 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 the San Gabriel Mountains, 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. Plan on getting your feet wet and bring bug repellent.

hiking
2 days ago

A little sore on the ankles but well worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, long but pretty easy. You have to cross lots of streams so be prepared to get a bit wet. Totally worth it. Remember to get your adventure pass.

hiking
2 days ago

This hike gave us the biggest challenge so far. Made it to the bridge and back in over 4 hours or maybe 5 lol... it was well worth it. Beautiful scenery to and from. Good a$$ kicking hike. Will have to do it again.

4 days ago

Fun

hiking
6 days ago

BRING LOTS OF WATER!!

Did this trail over the weekend and first off, it is closer to 11 miles round trip, not 9. Each person should have at least 3 liters of water. This trail is an easy trail, very slight elevation increase the entire way. It is however a long trail, so if you're not used to hiking 10+ miles, be ready.

The trail is pretty great, pay attention and you can see old pieces of road throughout the hike, yes, they are covered in dirt but once you notice and realize there was once a road the entire way you start seeing it all over.

Start early, the path going out isn't bad because of the position of the sun, you'll get morning shade most of the way. Coming back though, it's direct sun almost the entire path.

Once you make it to the bridge you can cross the bridge and go to the bottom. We sat there and ate lunch with our feet in the stream, it's pretty awesome down there at the bottom.

The earlier you get here, the better the parking will be. The lot fills up early, we got here at 7:30 and had to park about 1/3rd of a mile down the road. Also, buy a parking pass in advance, they are $5 for a day pass or $30 for a year pass. It's good at 4 local parks and is a parking hangtag, so just get the annual pass. I got mine at Big 5 but they're sold all over.

There is about 5 water crossings each way. In the summer you can probably skip rocks to cross each time, if there has been any recent rain you will get wet crossing the stream.

Lastly, check the weather report, if there is a chance of rain I'd stay away from this path. You're hiking in a ravine and this path does regularly have flash floods. People die on this trail from being trapped in flash floods. I came across one cross where someone had died on the trail.

I would definitely do this hike again.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice but hot in summer.
Across the river 4-5 times, you could make it without wet..I did. Took 5 hours.

hiking
10 days ago

Took me 6 and 10 yr olds, they had a blast. Once we got to the bridge we went swimming and had lunch down at the bottom watching people bungee jump. On the way back we saw some rams. If you go early morning, weather is not to bad.

hiking
16 days ago

We strayed from the path a few times, willingly. The stream pretty much takes you all the way there. There are a few moments where the trail becomes a little sketchy with walking on rock. You'll do a bit of climbing, but not enough to really call this a rock climbing trail. The most sketchy point is near the end, after the bridge, if you're planning on going into the water. We spent a few hours resting, swimming and jumping into the pools. We packed a light lunch and both had about 2 liters of water, which depleted near the end of our trip back. Overall, it was a good trip. We will definitely do it again, but be slightly more prepared. A lot of water is necessary! On our way back, people were asking if we had any extra water, but we had already ran out. You'll be crossing lots of streams, which is actually the best part about this trek, in my opinion. Plenty of times to wet your face, feet, back, whatever. And where there's water, there's vegetation, so the river crossings tend to be nice, shaded and casting a nice breeze. As you get closer to the bridge, you start going up the mountain, so it's less covered, but the views are gorgeous. Bring sunscreen. We saw tons of wildlife, folks panning for gold, and a man who somehow managed to ride a bike halfway to the bridge. It was cool. The bridge is fascinating, but looks much smaller than you'd imagine, upon arrival. Once you see the side of it, it's pretty neat. It's crazy that the bridge was build before WWII, yet it barely looks a day old.

18 days ago

Great trail! Multiple stream crossings. It can be hard to find the trail sometimes, but you follow the stream the whole way, so you'll be ok. There are currently some hot pink markers along the path to help guide you. We got to see a flock of big horned sheep which was really cool!

hiking
18 days ago

1st time hiking the trails in CA, and this one is great to start with. Nice and full of areas where to rest, good river crossings and shades, we did not get to end, but the 1 or 2 miles we did were awesome. Parking was bad since it was Earth Day 4/21/2018 we had to park all the way down by the entrance road bridge. We started walked in at around 1pm and stopped around 330 PM, we came out at around 5:00 PM (much faster going out).

We will try it again in a couple of weeks.

hiking
20 days ago

Went there for my second time last Monday. Always equip yourselves with enough water( I took 7 but shud ve taken 10.), fruits, snacks and sandwiches . ..hat and shades. its a strenuos trail but not much incline. I crossed the stream a lot less than my 1st time... took a nice powernap by 6 30 pm at the end of the bridge b4 heading back...relaxin..will be going back soon

backpacking
23 days ago

It’s a wonderful hike in and out of there. Make sure to stay on the east side of the trail as much as possible once you pass the walls, otherwise you will get lost like I did. We saw at least 10 goats later in the day by the bridge. There’s a lot of spots to camp on the sides if you are too tired to go any further. It’s a beautiful hike, but it can be confusing sometimes.

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike. Is more difficult than it looks, especially for people who did not care enough water or sun screen. Started ~10am and was back at the car by 3pm.

26 days ago

What a beautiful trail! It was an easy hike (minus the heat towards the afternoon hours) When we got back to the car it was was well over 100 degrees. So with that said, preparation is key! If you have a dog, make sure you bring booties to protect his feet because the last mile is exposed to direct sunlight and the hot ground will burn his pads. Also, bring enough water! Whether it be 3+ liters or a filter. The hike to the bridge is worth it. So pretty. We were lucky enough to have the swimming holes to ourselves under the bridge for about two hours.

There is a lot of trash in the beginning (diapers, tampons, etc) Pack in and pack people!! Let’s protect our environment. That’s my biggest pet peeve with hiking anywhere within driving distance of the city.

1 month ago

Great hike Beautiful scenery it was very HOooooT day it got to 111°

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes. Always nice to be away from the city life. Peaceful! Only bad thing is the trash and graffiti.

1 month ago

loved the hike. my dog loved it as well

1 month ago

awesome hike,i love this hike and do it as often as i can. the pools are great on a hot day like today clear water which makes it a great treat.. one of these days i will fine gold!! lol

1 month ago

What great way to spend a Saturday. Went up to the bridge with the bungie crew. It's a faster pace than we typically hike but they were a great crew a wonderful people. I ended up doing 3 bungie jumps then we took our time coming back to the trailhead. The water crossings were a welcome treat in the heat. Beautiful scenery and great variety in the trail, some boulder passings, sandy stretches and rocky terrain. Worth doing again if I was a local resident.

1 month ago

Love This trail
Been doing it for years but Saturday was the my first time across to a Black Bear about a mile and a quarter before finishing my way back to the parking.
my Best time doing it is 3 hrs 10 miles

Best time to Start at 4am or 5am

1 month ago

Nice hike, we got on the trail at 1pm made our own way a few times checked out some old mine, put in around 14 miles all together from parking the car about 3/4 mile from trailhead. Bring sandals extra socks small towel go explore, go in the water, awesome time .
Got back to car around 8

hiking
1 month ago

Got an Adventure pass for $5 the night before at a Big 5. Arrived at 5:30am and there was plenty of parking spots right at the trail head. Used All Trails pro and when I got a little off course it helped bring me back on track. Very few people this early and great temperature. Once we got to the Bridge to Nowhere I ended up bungee jumping for $120. Great fun and one more thing off the bucket list. The way back was a lot more traffic and more direct sun light. Know your limits as I saw some people that looked like they were about to have a heart attack. I made it there with no problems but by the time I got to the car I was completely worn out. We actually made it up there without getting wet at all but on the way back the water was refreshing to walk in.

Great day hike

hiking
1 month ago

Long fun hike. Start early and bring plenty of water (I went through ~2.5 L and wished I had more). An Adventure Pass is needed for your car. You've got to cross the river a few times, but the crossings are fairly easy. I brought hiking sandals just to make that part easier, and it was nice to not have to worry about getting socks wet. Some parts of the trail are sandy or rocky, and you've got to scramble up some rocks in a few places but no part of the hike felt really "hard". Once you get to the bridge, you can watch some bungee jumpers (or do it yourself!) or head down the rocks into the river. You can swim or wade in the river and swimming holes that are down there. Water was very cold but very refreshing in the hotter part of the day. Once we started heading back in the afternoon we wished we were still up in the cold water and took a couple of stops at the river to cool off.

I didn't start feeling tired until the last couple miles, but it was doable! It took us about 5 and a half hours round trip, not including the break we took in the river when we got to the bridge.

We saw a few dogs on the trail, but I don't think I would have brought mine as the trail is long and hot, and there's a few narrow spots and a lot of rock climbing and river crossing, which might have been too much for a small dog.

On the way back we saw a couple of bighorn sheep but from far away, high on the opposite mountain. Wish they had been closer!!

bucket list hike and one of my fav places

1 month ago

It was a great adventure. we encountered with big horn ships. They were not afraid of people, they even posed for some pictures! Definitely will go again.

hiking
1 month ago

Good place to challenge yourself. You will have to cross the river a few times to get to your destination and some parts are pretty steep but the view is worth all of it.

1 month ago

my feet hurt

1 month ago

Pretty cool trail. You get a little of everything. Uphill creek crossing, rocks, hot sun, tress. Heavy traffic due to bungee jumping at the bridge.

hiking
1 month ago

There were some places that were tough in crossing. Of course, we had our 6-year-old daughter who made it there and back. Too dangerous for her to climb down to the water pools at the bridge. It took us 3 hours to get to the bridge with her, but adults only can make in 2, I presume. I would suggest getting there early. Not a good idea to start the hike in the afternoon. It will be dark on the way back and it can be tricky trying to find your way back at night.

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