Hike to the Bridge to Nowhere – Sheep Mountain Wilderness – Azusa

Hikes You Can Do Presents; The Bridge to Nowhere

Highlights: Pink Granite Walls, Water Crossings, Swimming Holes, The Bridge to Nowhere
Fun Rating: Crazy Fun
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Distance: 10 miles
Hike Style: Down and Back
Duration: 6-8 Hours
Elevation Gain: 1000’′
Trail Condition: Unmaintained, 8-10 water Crossings, minimal Climbing, River Bed
Shade: Shaded/Sunny
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Passes Needed: National Forest Adventure Pass
GPS: 34.24174995313779, -117.76142120361328
Pictures: Click Here
Download: No Trail Map Available – My Tracks Google Map – Bridge to Nowhere
Address: Very End of East Fork Rd. Angeles National Forest
Directions: Take the 210 to Azusa Blvd. Take Azusa Blvd. north Towards Mountains. Road turns in Hwy 39. Take Hwy 39 ten miles past the San Gabriel Dam and take a right at East Fork Rd. Take East Fork Rd. past the campground, to the very end and cross the bridge reaching the East Fork Ranger Station and Parking Lot . Map and Directions.
Phone: Rangers (626) 335-1251

The start of the hike to the Bridge to Nowhere lies 41 miles N.E. of downtown Los Angeles. Most of the hike is in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness in the Angeles National Forest. This hike starts deep inside the Angeles National Forest and follows the fabled East Fork of the San Gabriel river. To get there take the 210 to Azusa Blvd. Take Azusa Blvd. north towards the mountains. The road turns into Hwy 39. Take hwy 39 ten miles past the San Gabriel Dam and take a right at East Fork Rd. Take East Fork Rd. past the campground to the very end and across the bridge reaching the East Fork Ranger Station and Parking Lot. To park for this hike you need an Adventure Pass which can be bought at any sporting goods store or a service station on Azusa Blvd. on the way to Hwy 39.

The hike to the Bridge to Nowhere is an absolute must for any serious Southern California and Los Angeles Hiker. It is one of the most adventurous treks that the San Gabriel’s offers. The entire hike follows the windy and refreshing East Fork of the San Gabriel river. This mountain river empties into the San Gabriel Dam. This hike is extremely fun so during the weekend and the summer months you could see hundreds of people hiking, picnicking, camping and swimming. Hiking here in the early spring or after a rain can be very dangerous so use caution and pay attention to the weather before you decide to go out.

If you like hiking near water then this is the hike for you. You get to hike next to water, above the water and through the water. The trail crosses the river eight to ten times. The first time we hiked this trail I brought water shoes and took my time taking my boots off or rock hoping across. This added another forty five minutes both ways. The second time we hiked this trail we tied our boots extra tight and waded through the entire trip. The idea of hiking ten miles in wet boots did not sound appealing at all to me before hand but after we got out there and felt the heat of the afternoon beating down on us, each river crossing became a pleasant opportunity to cool down. It worked out great because once you reach the bridge, you can take off your boots and let them dry out in the sun while you eat or swim with the Bridge to Nowhere towering above you.

The trail winds through the narrow gorge and at one point the jagged granite walls reach nearly 5000’ making it one of the deepest gorges in Southern California. The surrounding environment is dry and harsh so the opportunity to witness wildlife is very high for the river offers the only source of clean, fresh water. The river also attracts amateur miners who set up camp along the river testing their luck. Some of the trail is marked with painted arrows while at other times we completely lost the trail. It can especially get difficult when traversing the long, sandy flat river bottom. The typical rule of thumb on this hike is keep right the entire way. The last half of the hike is slightly more strenuous for you ascend up an incline on the right side of the gorge where the trail leads you above the river for a couple miles. There are no river crossings to cool you down and little shade to hide from the sun so make sure you save yourself plenty of water.

As you approach the bridge you actual enter private property. After five miles of hiking you finally reach the Bridge To Nowhere. Its an incredible and almost surreal experience. It literally is a giant concrete arched bridge that dead ends into a mountain. Its very bizarre. The bridge was built to cross the gorge at the narrows and then you were going to go through a tunnel on the other side. The tunnel was never finished but apparently if you hike past the bridge and continue around the ridge the cave remains from when they started to create the tunnel. We will have to check that out next time. More recently the bridge also doubles as an adrenaline thrill ride. Bungee jumpers have started to flock to this bridge for its rewarding leap of faith in a spectacular wilderness environment. A company called Bungee America runs a first class operation. For $65.00 bucks you can test your fears and jump. Last time I was out I reserved a spot ahead of time and really enjoyed it. It was absolutely unforgettable. Check out my Bridge to Nowhere Noggin Cam here or a shot of me Bungee Jumping off the Bridge to Nowhere shot from below. I highly recommend this experience with Bungee America.

The river just past the bridge offers much more than just awesome photo opportunities of the bridge from below. It is a wonderful place to sit down, dry out your boots and socks, eat a sandwich and take a dip in the fast moving, crystal clear waters. We found a 10’ deep pool and did some rock jumping into the water. It was a much needed relief from the summer heat and my building nerves. We were even drinking filtered river water.

I cannot stress enough how fun this hike is. Especially if you jump off the bridge. This hike offers so much. Its adventurous in so many ways. You get to swim in the clean, fresh water. There is wildlife including tarantulas, deer, big horn sheep, coyotes, and more can be seen on a regular basis. The bungee jumping is a thrill you cant get anywhere else. We rank this hike way up there on the fun meter. If you are looking for a full day adventure that will leave you with a huge smile for weeks to come, hike out to the Bridge to Nowhere and bungee jump off the bridge with Bungee America. The Bridge to Nowhere is the pinnacle of Los Angeles hiking. You have to check it out. We here at Hikes You Can do strive to bring you all the information you need when looking for a hike in the Los Angeles area. We hope this has inspired you to go out and check out the Bridge to Nowhere in the Sheep Horn Wilderness in the Angeles National Forest.

If you have a hike that you think we should feature on the site contact us and we will get back to you right away. For more information on this hike and many other hikes you can do in Los Angeles, visit; http://www.losangeleshikingguide.hikesyoucando.com

6 comments

  • I did this hike last Tuesday and it was a blast. The trail is easy to follow in the first few miles but gets a bit tougher to follow later on. Like it says above stick to the right side, eventually you need to head uphill and hike along a ridge to make it the rest of the way. When you reach the bridge you should be at an elevation to cross it, not down under it. I followed the river the whole way up, it adds a lot of time to the hike and you do a lot more water crossings.

    Super fun, some miners out and about all of them were really friendly. Also no cellphone signal so let someone know where your going.

  • This is one of my favorite hikes! The first time my husband and I hiked it was several years back. We returned last year to find that the entire landscape had changed! Evidence of land/rockslides, more foliage had sprung up, and a stream was running through what was once a dry rockbed. Quite dynamic! Just about the time you start groaning “Are we there yet??”, that is when the Bridge appears around the corner. Every time we have gone we have watched bungee jumpers taking the plunge over the gorgeous river below. Do be mindful that at certain times of the year, rattlesnakes are present right at the trail’s edge; In fact, my husband almost stepped right on one!

  • This is one of our favorite hikes as well. The landscape is truly breathtaking. Thanks for the tip on Rattlesnakes. This is a good tip for everyone. Be careful on all trails! Rattlesnakes share the trails with us. This is also an important thing to remember when you have your dog off the leash. Keep and eye out all the time. Thanks, Kim. 🙂

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