East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere)

MODERATE 819 reviews

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 moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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 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.

hiking
18 hours ago

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike. The trail is challenging in places and a little dangerous in others - nothing that an average person can't handle, but just enough to make the hike fun. There are several river crossings, although if you're careful you can get across all of them without getting your feet wet.

The trail is unmarked but very clearly worn. There are no major spurs, so getting lost is not an issue. The only hazards are falling (which is possible if you're careless) and getting stabbed by yucca. There are no steep sections on the trail, the small amount of elevation gain is very gradual.

Half of the trail follows the stream closely and is shaded. The other half of the trail is not shaded.

At the end of the trail, just after the bridge, there is a path down to the stream where you can soak your feet or go for a dip. The stream isn't deep, about 3 feet at the very deepest parts.

One downside to this hike are the crowds. On Saturday, the place was packed. You couldn't walk 3 minutes without passing another group. Additionally, there are no high points on this hike so the views are all from the bottom of a canyon.

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail. Late with the review, did this a few months ago. Definitely a haul, river crossings and all. Fun hike with beautiful views, and a bridge to nowhere! Neat seeing prospectors, and definitely a crowded trail.

hiking
7 days ago

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11 days ago

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14 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Very fun hike! Can't wait to go again

hiking
18 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. The trail is just so beautiful. We saw tree frogs, 6 big horn sheep, and a tarantula.Crossing the river is perfect for cooling off. It took us 8 hours but we had kids ( 8 and 10).

hiking
18 days ago

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19 days ago

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20 days ago

Love the water.

21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Very beautiful hike. We did not hike all the way to the bridge as the temps were over 100. Warning! We are most certain we saw a mountain lion crossing the water as we were wading in the water to cool off. We did not witness it again but took caution. Being lots of water and look out for snakes. Highly suggest this hike. Very relaxing by the water!

hiking
24 days ago

Went on a Friday morning and it was amazing, not a single person on the trail before me and did not see a single person till I was heading back

hiking
25 days ago