Bridge to Nowhere via East Fork Trail

MODERATE 1,115 reviews

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
1158 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.

backpacking
3 days ago

Great place to go back packing passed bridge to nowhere. Highly recommend it

hiking
13 days ago

This is a commitment so make sure to plan ahead. Bring plenty of water and sandwiches/protein as well as a hat and sunglasses. I recommend walking sticks if you have them. I did the trail 2 weeks ago and the river was rushing and so cool and so fun to go in during the hike. If you could hike it at the high water times of the year, do it. Jumping in and out of the river really keeps you cool during the hike.

I'm pretty much a beginner since we don't hike as much as we would like so we did take a few rests on the trip and it was challenging for me since I'm not in shape but it was still really fun.

hiking
17 days ago

Get ready to wet your shoes! Be sure prepared a flip-flop you will need it when you reached the bridge and also when you finished the trail.

Also, Adventure Pass is required when you visit this trail if you didn't get one down the city (you can get a daily pass on 7-11 or big 5 sporting goods, it's 5 bucks) your last chance to get the pass will be the village it's about 1 mile down from the trail parking lot, only one store where you hardly to missed it.

hiking
17 days ago

buy adventure pass at 7-11 or big 5 or at the cafe right in front of campground about 2miles before parking. must present the pass on the dash wherever parking off street or on site!!! $5/day or $30/year. REMEMBER to scratch the date and month on the daily pass !!! Don't just hang and leave without scratching a correct date !!! LA sheriff on the way!!! bring at least 2L water becuz 85% of the trail is exposed to sun. more water ,the better. hat and suncreen are must wear stuff. wear long sleeves and long pants to avoid stabbing directly by yucca leaves as well as avoiding sunburn. suggest to open this app and check in and record at the parking lot or earlier at the cafe or campground before hiking becuz of no signal and losing ur way easily in the middle of the trail. by recording ur actions u can see the correct route on ur app instead of always looking for other people just to make sure the way. no signs or arrows are set along the trail and once u follow a wrong direction u will need cross stream lots of time or find no way through or even climbing rocks. becareful not to stop recording by accident as i quit the app by mistake and then i lost my route totally. nothing to follow so u can only rely on others to check ur distance and destination.(upset) ....be aware of snake, we encountered one slowly crossing the path so check around before sitting down. prepare to get wet on feet as u need cross stream at least 12 times roundtrip

18 days ago

My family and I have done this hike several times both with a big group and dogs. At times the lake can be full of water and beautiful.
It is a long hike , I suggest taking a lot of water and comfy shoes. We started our hike early so we can venture around the area and take our time.

backpacking
18 days ago

Great hike with beautiful views. Love the river thats still flowing nicely.

18 days ago

Taking the long route was more fun and challenging. Getting in that ice cold water is a MUST. Amazing hike, i love how green it is.

backpacking
21 days ago

Spend the weekend hiking with my son's scouts group. Being a big guy it had it's challenges, but great views and an experience my son and I can look back on. will definitely return.

22 days ago

Get ready to have wet boots on for 5 hours

hiking
22 days ago

I had a blast hiking Bridge to Nowhere. We arrived at 6:15am and got one of the last spots in the lot. You must have an Adventure Pass. We began our hike at 6:45 am. I wore my hiking boots and brought extra socks. I did not bother switching out to my water shoes. The hike was easy but long. Once you are out of the river are, you are in full sun. Bring sunblock, 3 liters of water and lunch to eat at the bridge. We had a blast! Enjoy your day and start early.

hiking
23 days ago

Funnest hike yet! Be sure to wear some Chacos or Tevas because you will be crossing the river at least 8 times. Hiked with my Chacos the entire time and loved every minute of this hike! You are exposed to the sun a lot so make sure you have sunscreen and take a hat. Take at least 2 liters of water on this hike for its a long one, 11 miles.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful sceneries. About 11.5 miles round trip from the parking area. Be ready to do multiple stream crossings. 2 liters of water would do it in a late May day. Daily or annual adventure pass required. You can obtain a pass from the 7-eleven on Foothills Blvd in Azusa the same day or any Big-5 Sporting Goods a day before your hike. Small parking lot. Plan for an early morning hike to avoid parking far away from the parking lot. Enjoy your hike!!!

28 days ago

It was beautiful loved it

hiking
29 days ago

Good hike but easy to get lost as part of the trail has eroded and overgrown. You need a parking adventure day pass that needs to be purchased before you come up the mountain. There's no reception once you start the drive up to mountain. Have to cross the river a couple of times so it's good to bring some hiking sandals or water shoes and extra socks. Pack a lunch to eat at the top. Bungee jumping is at the top of the bridge. Very popular trail. Beginning half of the trail has shade, the end toward the bridge is sunny and hot. Bring lots of water. Start early cause it gets hot toward the top. Saw bighorn sheep on the trail too.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful day yesterday. Creek was nice and flowy and we crossed back and forth over it many many times. It was so refreshing! Creek provides a nice source for tree growth in an otherwise arid landscape. Saw several people panning for gold along the way and campers too. Took us 6hrs to do about 13mi. One big drawback would be the $63 parking ticket to everyone not parked in the tiny parking lot provided ☹️

1 month ago

This is a good beginners hike has a few challenges but nothing major. a few streams and rocky roads. Take extra socks, light snacks and about 2 Lts. of water. I did a very early hike from 6am to 1pm I was back. not many uphill situations. happy hike!

1 month ago

Great hike but can be pretty crowded

hiking
1 month ago

Made the trip fairly fast this time around. Take two pairs of socks, one for up and one pair for coming down. Dry out your feet and shoes at the bridge, have a snack or lunch and make your way back. Too much time is spent drying your feet out after each stream. Just march on get there. Used only 1.5 liters but took a MSR water filter just in case someone including myself needed more. Less is more. Don’t overthink this hike. Light and fast is the way to go. + (pluses) trail running shoes, wool or synthetic socks (2 pair), dry fit material shirts & shorts, light pack and carbon trekking poles (you blaze through the streams). - (minuses) heavy gear, too much water, wrong footwear, cotton shirts & shorts small dogs with short legs that can’t make it - you will end up carrying them like many that we saw.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! The trail itself was moderate it’s the distance that was a bit challenging with the heat. I went thought 3L of water. I had no problem following the trail using alltrails. The is no cell service but I find if I call up the map before the hike it tracks me with GPS very well, easy to see if I’m no track or not.

I took water shoes but there were so many crossing on the way back we just gave up and crossed with our boots. If that’s what you choose to do I would take an extra pair of socks to change into for the trip down.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike was a lot of fun. There is a route sign at the trailhead which is about half a mile away from the parking lot. This sign is a little misleading. It says it is a 4 1/2 mile hike to the bridge. I have to assume that rockslides and flooding have rerouted the trail several times, because it was a 5 1/2 mile hike. Well actually, because the trail is not well marked in a few places, we missed it and ended up intruding into a group of sketchy looking guys that were panning for gold. (Yes, that is apparently a thing in 21st century Southern California.) so, having to backtrack caused our hike in to be approximately 6 1/2 miles and the hike out was 5 1/2. From the elevated trail that takes you to the bridge, we could see a lot of people had missed the trail and had to backtrack as well. There is no cell service From about halfway up the mountain all the way through the trip,, so I recommended taking a printed map.

We went this last Friday, March 30. The weather was about 80 and sunny. It was perfect conditions for the hike. The first 3/4 of the hike in is rather shady. This is where all the water crossings are. If it had been any cooler, it might have been to chilly to hike wet. The last 1/4 of the hike in is completely exposed. No shade at all. So any warmer and this portion would have been rough.

I took water shoes, but the crossings were so frequent, I gave up on those after crossing 2. It was easier to just cross in my hiking shoes and hike with wet feet. A friend was wearing Teva’s and she was pretty comfortable the whole hike.

Everyone says bring lots of water. I went through s whole 2L camelbak. My daughter drank 2 camelbaks. But rather than carry extra water with you, I suggest investing in a steripen and a nalgene. There is so much water on, and next to, the trail, if you have a steripen, you could easily refill your camelbak. I should have taken mine.

We also took 2 dogs. This hike was a bit too much for them. A lot of jagged rocks and rock scrambling was tough on paws. My lab blistered both of her back pads and is still limping 2 days later. I wouldn’t take a dog again unless you are CERTAIN your pooch can handle the rough terrain in areas. The other dog was good but he’s still pretty exhausted.

All in all it was a fun hike! I really recommend it. The bridge was pretty cool to see!

hiking
1 month ago

Went this morning while it was cool weather and brought my dog. It's very pretty, the small streams were at a decent level and hardly any people there around 9am. We only did a mile and a half since my dog decided he's had enough of the streams (he's not very tall and a couple I had to carry him over). Only bad drawback was all the graffiti. Way too much. I'll go back when I have another human to go with and I'll leave my dog at home.

1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on. Took my 6 and 10yr olds with me. They want to go again.

hiking
1 month ago

Had a great time taking my family to the bridge. crossed over the water 8 times. It got kind of deep in some spots but once you get threw it once it’s very easy and rather enjoyable.
Only thing I would do different is bring sandals and a change of shorts for after the hike because my lower half was soaked.

hiking
2 months ago

great hike start to finish

backpacking
2 months ago

very nice hike ...be prepared on hot days take lots of water and proper shoes

2 months ago

Easy hike but long

2 months ago

The previous post said it all

2 months ago

rained heavily the day before. definitely got out feet wet. not a chance of keeping them dry. left the trail several times to explore the west side of the river. again if you want the easiest route, stay on the east side of the river. hints: as you advance down the trail you will come to rock formations which seem to end the trail. if you climb these rock formations you will find the trail on the other side. we made several deviations off the trail because we simply didn't look far enough when the trail seemed to end. on the return trip back to the camp grounds we're stayed on the trail and only had to cross the river/ stream three or four times. as I said it rained heavily the day before and we were forced to Ford the river in areas where it normally would not be as deep. a great day, look forward to taking some adventurous friend back out to the bridge.

hiking
2 months ago

Insta: Venture_Renegade

Heading: 2 hours, we decided to go through the river jumping over rocks and through the mud vs the traditional route.

Return: ~1.5 hours, on the way back we took back the traditional road and only had to cross the river like 3x.

Weather: there is alot of overhead trees, thus not much exposure to the sun. It gets cold quickly if you go in the mornings. But once you reach the bridge, its pretty exposed and the feeling of the sun rays hitting your numb face is the best feeling ever!

Cargo: not a strenuous hike. Shorts, t shirt and a windbreaker (recommended, again not alot of sun and it gets windy in the mornings). Water proof hiking boots. You will get wet.

Summary: We did the hike with the intention of getting into the watering holes at the base of the bridge however it was extremely cold and probably would have got hypothermia jumping into the water haha. Regardless, the hike is really fun, especially running through the water. Hard to get lost, only really one way to go there and back. On our return, we saw big horned sheep!! I'll probably do this trail again when it gets hot to get in the water. Recommend to all!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing weather amazing scenery

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