Bridge to Nowhere - Azusa, CA
In the 1930's, construction started on the East Fork Road in order to connect San Gabriel Valley to the town of Wrightwood. However, during a flood in 1938, the road was wiped out and the East Fork project was abandoned. Left behind, however, was a structure known today as the Bridge to Nowhere. The bridge, only accessible by way of the East Fork Trail ( 10 Mile Roundtrip Hike), lies out in the middle of the Sheep Mountain Wilderness in the San Gabriel Mountains. Naturally, after reading up on the history of the area, I had to check out the hype, thus creating one of my favorite day hike experiences thus far.
Along the trail are many excellent views of the San Gabriel Mountains, multiple river crossings, and pink granite canyons. While the terrain is easily accessible there are many rocks in the trails path, causing some difficulty. For the first half of the hike, you are covered by some type of foliage, however after crossing over into the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, you are mainly exposed. Even though you become exposed for the last part of the trek, the multiple swimming holes and river crossings along the way, provide many opportunities to cool off, so don't let the sun be a deal breaker. Another aspect of this trail is that you only gain about 800 ft elevation, making it somewhat easy for an unexperienced hiker.
Upon arrival to the Bridge you may be greeted by the BungeeAmerica Team. Unfortunately, we arrived to the bridge about an hour after they packed their gear and hiked into town for the day. However if you plan to go, bring $80 cash for a chance to jump off (Weekends Only).
The great part about heading into the canyon later in the day was that we were the only people around by the time we reached the bridge. We decided to swim and found a neat spot down below. However, we didn't bring flashlights so we felt the need to hustle back before nightfall. Because of this, I'd recommend starting the trip mid-morning. That way you can have plenty of time for snack breaks, photo-ops, and swimming.
The Bridge to Nowhere is one of my favorite hikes to date. The whole experience is as equally unique as it is gratifying. Give yourself about 7-8 hours to fully enjoy this epic experience in Los Angeles' backyard. Be aware that you will need a permit from the Ranger Station and it costs $5 to park at the Camp Bonita Prairie Forks Road. You may want to wear hiking boots or hiking sandals due to the many river crossings. I wore a bathing suit and felt it was an appropriate decision. As always, bring lots of water and don't be a litter bug.