East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere)

MODERATE 775 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
1 minute ago

Great trail with a opportunity of a bungee jump at the bridge. The pools under the bridge are awesome.

11 hours ago

It was beautiful but since the rain increase the trail is super unclear and confusing. Lots of rough terrain to go though

hiking
4 days ago

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4 days ago

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4 days ago

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4 days ago

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6 days ago

Definitely worth the effort to get to enjoy the awesome view and the refreshing swimming holes.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Love this water filed hike. There is both shade and sunlight. I hiked with my 1 year old son in my backpack and it went great.

hiking
8 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike. Loved the water crossing, and a nice hike. I know to bring lots of water, electrolytes and food for the amount of hiking I was about to do. I loved the scenery, the water felt absolute wonderful, and the sounds of the water flowing downstream was beautiful.
There are a lot of obvious inexperienced hikers that were in flip flops, the wrong type of shoes, clothes, small bottle of water and no food. My group ran into a young gentleman that was in obvious distress. We could not leave his side. His friends left him to continue their hike. He had no water on him, he dropped his bag in a bush about a half mile away, and he was sitting in the sun, delusional and mumbling. We gave him some of our food, electrolytes, and water and got him into the shade. At that point our group split, two girls went for help while us other three helped this poor kid hike back to the parking area about 4.5 miles away. We cooled him in the stream but he was in shock and couldn't handle the cool water. We were able to slowly get to the parking lot where the ranger was waiting, and the rescue team was starting to arrive. Happy we were able to assist but they really need to post signs that if you don't have these particular items, please do not go forward on this HIKE. People really need to read up on these hikes before attempting them.
I will definitely do this hike again!!

hiking
9 days ago

Awesome hike and wonderful scenery. I'd say this being rated as a moderate hike is a accurate rating. You will get wet and various points of the hike from at best the knees down but there are some water holes where it's deep enough to fully get wet. We got there at 545 a.m. and there was already about 20 cars, so if you don't want to have to park far away get there early. Also going early helps to avoid being slowed down by other people if you want to hike faster as their are some parts of the trail that are to small to pass people and that can get somewhat frustrating. I will hike this one again very soon and hang out longer at the bottom of the bridge. Make sure to get an adventure pass and fill out the free permit form as well.

hiking
11 days ago

14 days ago

Awesome hike!! Couldn't stay for the whole hike- only went about half way, but even that was worth it. Looking forward to heading back soon. Watch out for snakes! Saw two on the way, one was a rattler.

hiking
15 days ago

Moderate hard if you choose to walk this one upstream. Covered about 17 miles walking back and forth a lot.

What a wonderful place! Not too busy on a weekday morning. Went up to the underside of the bridge and then back down to locate Devil's Gulch and Horseshoe mine. All points of interest were amazing!

hiking
17 days ago

AMAZING HIKE

So much water to keep you cool along the way. But regardless you have to bring enough water for this hike. There is a little bit of rock scrambling and there are some spots where you can follow a real trail. I'd say most of the "flat" trail is on the right side while heading to the bridge. You will get wet, but if you make can make to the bridge with out getting wet kudos to you... I was hesitant doing this hike by myself in fear of getting hurt etc but you'll come across so many people along the way there's nothing to be afraid of. You'll make plenty of friends on this hike. I was glad I pulled the trigger and just did the hike.
Be safe hikers!

hiking
17 days ago

So let me start off by saying I started this hike a few times to never finish it because of inconveniences.

This time I finally was able to finish this hike. The day I went, there were what seemed like hundreds of cars, and many people; I have never seen this many people at this particular trail.

The first half of trail is very nice; a lot of the main trail is right next to the stream that goes along the entire canyon. The greenery is pretty much only by the stream, so if that's all you want to see, then follow the stream the entire way. The last half of the trail is nothing short of grueling and boring. The stream is still there, so you are still able to follow it; but the fastest way is on the main trail which overlooks the canyon. Pretty much all to see during the last half is just rocks and a distant green strip where the stream follows.

Coming up to the bridge - I have to say - I was extremely disappointed. It was probably my fault for imagining something more grand. Don't get me wrong, it was a very nice piece of architecture, but after a somewhat long hike I was expecting a bit more.

Don't let this review discourage anyone else from going, it is definitely worth the trip out to say you've done it. The first half is incredibly gorgeous, but the second half is just lackluster to say the least. I'm glad I hiked this trail, but safe to say, I won't be coming back again.

17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

One of my all time favorite hikes! Ended up going way deeper into the hike than we usually do. Did a total of 14.8 miles yesterday. Make sure you bring a lot of water and food. Also a smart thing to bring a water purifier with you just in case you run out of water you can fill up anywhere along the river. Oh, by the way, don't forget the sunscreen and your adventure pass for parking.

hiking
18 days ago