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Beyond the Bridge to Nowhere

August 17, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

This is a perfect warm summer day hike. There’s always water in the creek so plan on getting wet…and be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet – I’ll be wearing an old pair of trail runners. We won’t be in a hurry to reach our destination. The plan is to enjoy the creek and all it has to offer along the way. Moderate pace but not for beginners.

There’s an old mine, a side canyon with a waterfall and many opportunities to cool off in the numerous water crossings and pools. We’ll go about a mile beyond the bridge to explore and see if we can find some deeper pools. Bring a headlamp for the mine. See below for directions to carpool point.

This write up is Don’s:


The Bridge to Nowhere hike is a route enjoyed by many. Trying to time it with higher water levels due to rain and snow melt and that will hopefully add a bit more adventure to our hiking experience. 2012 was rather disappointing, but in previous years we’ve enjoyed some high levels of water that have made it interesting.

This picture was from our trip there in 2010.

The Stats

Distance: est. 12 miles

Elevation gain: 1200 ft.

Rating: 6/10 – the elevation gain is minimal for this length of a hike.

Duration: 6-8 hours

The Plan

It will be your job to keep up with the group. It’s a fairly simple trail to follow and water levels will determine how much team work will be required to cross the creek. If for some reason you get separated from the group just meet us at our usual lunch location. When you arrive at the bridge go to the other side and take the trail that continues up stream and you should see us down by the river. Also, this will be the most dangerous of the trails we’ll be on all day so watch your footing. This is one of the those destinations that everyone who enjoys hiking should experience as the canyon is very beautiful, the water refreshing and you’ll really feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete this trek. There are not too many places you can find such a long hike with so little elevation gain which adds to this trips enjoyment.

If you do not like water than this is NOT the hike for you!

This is a dog friendly hike as long as you have a people friendly dog!

The Story

The Bridge to Nowhere is an arch bridge that was built in 1936 north of Azusa, in the San Gabriel Mountains. It spans the East Fork of the San Gabriel River and was meant to be part of a road connecting the San Gabriel Valley with Wrightwood. The East Fork Road was still under construction when it was washed out during the great flood of March 1-2, 1938. The East Fork Road project was abandoned as a result of the flood, leaving the bridge forever stranded in the middle of what is now the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. The bridge is only accessible via 9 mile round-trip hike or on horseback. Despite its popularity, the frequency with which the trail gets washed out means that it is rough in places. It crosses the East Fork 14 times between the Bridge and the trail head. Generally, one follows the river up its course, with several stream crossings before the ascent to the level of the bridge. Bungee jumping is a popular activity at this bridge.


To the carpool point in Azusa:
from the westside: 105 or 10 east, 605 north, 210 east, exit at Azusa Ave (Rt. 39). Go north (left) toward the mountains. Turn right into a public parking lot at the corner of N Azusa Ave and Foothill Blvd. It’s diagonally across from CVS. The entrance is 500ft past 6th Street. You can use 630 or 690 N Azusa Ave as an address. The driveway is between the two. Also I know they sell Adventure Passes at the MOBIL station on the left side of Azusa Ave. immediately after exiting the Fwy. Anyone meeting at this location should be on the road to the trail head by 7:30 from the valley: 118 east, 210 east, then follow directions above. REI in Arcadia is also an option. (But they don’t open until 10, so plan ahead).

To the Trail Head:
Continue N up Azusa Ave. (Rt. 39) which becomes N San Gabriel River Road. You will pass the San Gabriel Reservoir and turn right on E East Fork Rd. Take this road for quite a while. You’ll pass a couple camp sites and eventually will come to a 180 degree turn. Don’t take the turn!! Go straight, following this road into the parking area and trail head.

This location does require a National Forest Adventure Pass for parked vehicles. These passes can be purchased at most ranger stations (if open) in the area of our hike, most sporting goods, convenience stores and gas stations. The cost is $5/day or $30/yr. When buying an annual pass for $30 you can also buy an additional annual pass for $5. Splitting this fee with someone is the most economical way to get the passes. A National Parks Pass can also be used for parking as well and should have come with a rear view mirror hanger.

Dan’s Hiking Pages (http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/bridge.html)

More info on this destination (http://www.ci.azusa.ca.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=463)

Bungee Anyone? (http://www.bungeeamerica.com/nowhr.htm)


The Fine Print

PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.

The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)

RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.


Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!

1 – A long walk

2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain

3 – 5 mile hike w/up to1000 ft. elevation gain

4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)

5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)

6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)

7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)

8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)

9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)

10 – Use your imagination

Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.



I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

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August 17, 2019
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Bridge to Nowhere – Trailhead
Camp Bonita Rd
La Verne, CA 91750 US
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Trail statistics are approximate.  For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER.

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