East Fork Trail (Bridge to Nowhere)

#2 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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2 Completed 2 Reviews

My most favorite hike yet. Super long but even more rewarding!

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8 Completed 6 Reviews

Done this hike 3 times. Decided to hike up on the trail and take the creek back. The hike up on a causal walk is 2 hours. The hike back down the creek is minium 3.5 hours. You can only do the creek when the water is low unless you want to swim down, in areas. We had backpacks and still got those a little wet. All in all, good trail!

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5 Completed 1 Reviews

Went last week in Wednesday and started around 8:15am. Reached the bridge within about 2 hours. There are many trails that split off in different directions and will meet back up after some point. I had to cross the stream 3-4 times on the way to the bridge. In the way back I found the short cuts that made me only cross the stream once. Return trip took me an hour and a half totaling about 3.5 hrs round trip. I recommend going early, like around 6:30-7 in order to beat the heat, also LOTS of water! I would say a half gallon minimum

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Mickey G.

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9 Completed 6 Reviews

Did this hike early Saturday morning. Loved it! Did not make it to the bridge because I had 3 kids with me.
We hiked a few miles, found a nice shady spot by the river and had lunch and a swim. Kids loved it!
they had fun looking for gold! Definitely going back with adults only and making it all the way to the
bridge.

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22 Completed 14 Reviews

Walked to the bridge through water (wet-hike) had lunch at the pools at the bridge.. Then hiked out from the trail at the bridge (top) sketchy on the 1st part of trail but faster!! Awesome hike!! With kids no dog but many dogs in water if hiking out the same way.. Thanks Chris!!

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9 Completed 9 Reviews

Awesome trail! You follow the East Fork San Gabriel River the whole time! You can stop at any point on the trail and swim or filter water. The trailhead is at the back east side (right) of the parking lot. There is a toilet there. According to a website I found, you're supposed to stop at the East Fork Ranger Station and get a free permit. Also you need to have an adventure pass for your car. Get there EARLY!!!! It gets really HOT and its a popular trail. Bring lots of WATER, unless you bring a water filter with you (I took 4 liters and finished it all). Bring your swim suit, towel, hiking poles in case. I went on a weekday and started at 7am, perfect. I only met 2 groups of people on the way to the bridge. Half a mile in is a campground with a toilet and trash can. There were 2 groups camped there. After the campground and up to about 1.3 miles I crossed the river 4 times (2 may have been unnecessary). The water level was low enough I could keep my boots on and go across rocks and logs. At about 2.5 miles you come upon a bridge and a sign saying you've crossed into Sheep Mountain Wilderness. At about 3.5 miles (1.5 miles from the bridge) you must go onto the RIDGE on the east side of the river, or else you get stuck in the river when it narrows through the canyon. Find a "nice" way to the ridge, don't try to go up the steep rock climbing trails (I made that mistake). At ~4.3 miles you come upon a private property sign informing you that 1/2 mile before and after the bridge are private property: no camping, no camp fires. I got to the bridge at 4.86 miles, it rules! I went past the bridge and down to the river right past the bridge where there is a waterfall and pools to swim in. I loved it there!
Overall, it took me 3 hours to get to the bridge (7am-10am), stayed an hour for lunch and swimming, and it took 2.25 hours back to the parking lot (11am-1sh). The way back was super hot! 97 degrees F. The total distance for me was 11.3 miles instead of 10 miles because I went off on some ridges unnecessarily and I went past the bridge to eat lunch. Don't worry too much about losing the trail, you just follow the river the whole way and you're in a canyon, you can't get off course unless you go all the way up a mountain and over. There are many small trails that all go the same direction, follow the one you prefer. You're on the east side (right) of the river the whole time except for a bit after the campground you'll be on the west side but no for long. I saw people mining for gold, tons of lizards, and 3 big horn sheep 20 ft away grazing and drinking from the river. The elevation gain is about 800 ft overall, so its nothing, but the trail is like an obstacle course, fun, but slow! Beautiful trail, can't wait to do it again!

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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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17 Completed 9 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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4 Completed 5 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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