East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere)

#1 of 195 trails in Angeles National Forest

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East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere) is a 10 mile out and back trail located near Azusa, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Trail may be narrow and high.

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!

From Interstate 10 or the 210 freeway, exit on Azusa and head north 10 miles or so, paralleling the San Gabriel Dam on your right. Turn right on East Fork Road and continue 8 more miles to the East Fork Station, where the road dead ends. Note that if you go around a hairpin 180 degree turn on East Fork Road, you missed the road into the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. The trail head is short distance down an obvious service road.

Angeles National Forest (626) 335-1251

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31 Completed 2 Reviews

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME...

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21 Completed 5 Reviews

Saturday fun! This trail has a bit of everything so be prepared. Everyone can do this hike! I took my kiddos and went their pace. Start in the early morning since it will get warm and the last mile or so before the bridge lacks shade except for two small trees. There are a few climbs that require patience and common sense but they aren't too difficult. If you go on a day Bungee America is having their event be sure to be ahead of the crowd, as they can be 70-100 people deep! Take rock areas slow to avoid falls. Sunscreen, hats and and mosquito repellent are recommended. Four to five liters of water are good on a hot day. Be sure to take the right snacks. The water at the bridge was perfect for swimming so bring your bathing suit, take your time and enjoy nature's natural water park! First Tip: Since the river water is nice and cold you can use it to re-cool the water you haven't yet consumed for your return trek by placing the containers in the river! Take a thicker grocery bag with you and put a large river rock in the bag to hold your water containers in place. Second Tip: If you bring a pet, consider that a dark-colored animal will suffer more in the shadeless areas. I saw a few dogs panting like crazy and they had to be carried out by their irresponsible owners. Last Tip: Ladies, if you insist on wearing workout gear consider not wearing black! Black will make you really HOT, and I don't mean in looks, unless you want to look like a hot mess after the sun wears you down. Carry a change of wear if needed. Overall it's definitely a great time! crzyrabbit@gmail.com

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Nicole M

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15 Completed 8 Reviews

Beautiful hike without a lot of elevation gain so even though it's on the longer side it's not too hard on the legs. We brought lunch and hung out watching people bungee jump off the bridge. There's a few areas of minor rock scrambling which just adds to the fun of it and several little swimming holes. Bring lots of water and sunscreen as there are long stretches lacking in shade.

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

I did this hike today. WOW! This was a truly beautiful hike. There are pools in the river constantly along the trail (if you call it a trail) for cooling off. Lots of water is needed for this hike along with snacks. I chose to take the river path the entire time so I could swim in the pools under the bridge ( a small but awesome natural rock slide is there) as opposed to the top. This path added a couple miles, when all said and done we hiked just short of 15 miles according to our gps. The hike was long, but today I climbed huge rocks, had some harry hard to find paths, swam in natural pools, climbed up small waterfalls, saw some amazing nature, saw people panning for gold,and had the time of my life. I am so sore now, but will do this hike time and time again. Love it!! :-)

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17 Completed 2 Reviews

BRING LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER! 8 bottles of water is good for one person. this hike isn't for the faint of heart. I went bungee jumping so the instructor lead us on the hike to the bridge. I got lost on my way back...

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8 Completed 8 Reviews

I've only done this trail once - last summer, but i've been wanting to go back ever since. I had a rough time since it was over 100 degrees that day and we got a later start than we should have. The exposure on the last half of the climb really got to me. I was almost ready to call it quits about a mile from the bridge, but i'm very glad i didn't cave, because I would have missed the best part. Crisp, cool, clean pools to swim in, and I didn't hesitate to jump right in after eating my packed-in lunch while watching some bungee jumpers. I remember there being lots of people on the hike in. Try and get as early a start as possible.

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30 Completed 22 Reviews

One of my favorite hikes to do! Did this last week and we were lucky enough the weather wasn't too hot and the water was flowing the whole hike up. Once we got to the bridge we had a nice lunch, jumped in the pools (which are ice cold yet very refreshing!) and took in everything around us!

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

I'm now upgrading this trail from 4 stars, to five. Granted, I hate the prospectors and squatters, going past the bridge is where it's at.

I really love the fact that there is water all along the way. In various spots, it's deep enough to hop in. With a filtration system, you don't have to worry about bringing a ton of water with you.

You will see definitive campsites along the way, if you decide to camp. A lot of these impromptu camps have fire pits with log benches laid around them.

When you go past the bridge and follow the water, it gets even better. Taller trees start popping up, the flow gets faster, and there are better photo ops.

Be sure to bring a mid height waterproof boot on this trail, or something that dries quick. You will get wet.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

This was an awesome hike to take. Many challenges encountered, beautiful scenery, and it's not too hard and not to easy. Best time is to go early morning around 8 to beat the heat. First 5 miles was nice and cool cuz the sun wasn't out yet. It's totally worth the hike and it's fun when you plan with a big group.

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

My family and I absolutely loved this hike. We, being my wife, my 8 year old daughter, my 10 year old daughter and I, went on this hike last Saturday. We were treated to some beautiful scenery and at one point watched a small herd of 12 big horn sheep run down what was probably a 50% slope like it was nothing. The last climb towards the bridge which starts around mile 3.5 is very exposed, so bring a good hat because you'll be in the sun until you arrive at the bridge and descend down to the river.

We brought water shoes which we changed into for the creek crossings to keep our feet dry and only needed to use them three times in each direction. The rest of the crossings could be made on rocks or logs without getting our shoes wet at all. I hiked in hiking shoes and about a 20-25 lb. day pack (I was carrying our lunches, water, swim suits, etc.). If i were to do it again I would probably wear boots because there is a lot of scree and loose rock, so it would be a plus to have ankle support. If you have trekking poles, it wouldn't be a bad place to use them with with ascents and descents through the scree fields and through the river crossings, but you can certainly make do without them.

My children had never hiked more than 7-8 miles before and we ended up hiking 12 miles per our GPS due to our parking spot and little side trips, but over all they did great. If you are bringing younger children, eating a meal at the bridge is a must, my children were gassed out and definitely needed the calories. I would pack some snacks for them along the way too. We took our time, swam in the creek for an hour or so after eating lunch and walked out at a slow but steady pace. It was 9 hours there and back, but then again, we weren't in any rush.

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