Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Hike to the Bridge to Nowhere

Hiking with Fido
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Endorsed by Curators:
Jun 17 7:00AM - 8:00AM

Fairly easy to get to, the Bridge to Nowhere is situated in the San Gabriel Mountains, with the trailhead accessible from Azuza Ave. Here is the info to get there: From the 210 freeway in Azusa, take exit 40 north on Route 39. Drive 11.6 miles north, passing the East Fork Ranger Station at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Pass San Gabriel Reservoir and turn right on East Fork Road. After 5.2 miles, when the road makes a sharp bend to the right, stay left and continue straight ahead on Camp Bonita Prairie Forks Road, sticking with the river for an additional 3/4 of a mile to the trailhead parking area.

The trail follows the San Gabriel River, so there will be multiple river crossing/boulder hopping. Though the elevation gain for the trail is said to be only 800', it is a 9-mile out and back hike. We will stop occasionally for rest breaks, food and water.

I've heard that right now, because of the lack of rain, the water level for the river is low, so there might be a good chance that our feet won't get wet! The temperature is pretty reasonable right now too, since this hike has limited shade.

This hike is in the Sheephorn Mountain Wilderness, so I will need to get a permit. If you intend to go, please RSVP, as I will need to give the ranger the number of people in our group. If you will be bringing someone, please don't forget to +1 on your RSVP. RSVP's will close the day before the hike, at 12pm.

We will need to start EARLY because of the distance and because the lot fills up quickly. This is one of the most popular trails in So. Cal. Let's plan to meet at 7:00am and to start hiking at 7:15am. Please be prepared to spend the day hiking. You can turn around whenever you want, if you feel you can't make the distance.

To recap:
Length: 9 miles out and back
Elevation gain: 800'Level: Intermediate - (pushing advanced because of the distance)RSVP early so I can include you on the permit.
Start time: 7:15am

Here is more historical background info on the Bridge, if you're interested:

The Bridge to Nowhere is one of the most bizarre artifacts to be found in the San Gabriel mountains. Back in the 1920s, Los Angeles County planned to build a highway all the way up the East Fork canyon to Mine Gulch Junction. From there the road would climb over Blue Ridge and drop down into Wrightwood. It would be among the most scenic roads in America. Construction began in 1929, most of the work being done by County prison work crews. By the mid-1930s the highway had reached the Narrows. There it was necessary to construct a concrete bridge high above the waters of the gorge. A tunnel was also chiselled out of sheer rock. However, the winter after this difficult construction task had been completed, an unprecedented storm arrived on March 1-2, 1938, depositing many inches of rain on the San Gabriel Mountains. The result was a tremendous flood that roared down the East Fork, obliterating everything in its path including more than five miles of the painstakingly constructed highway. Only the bridge was high enough above the waters to be virtually untouched. The futility of the project having been so emphatically demonstrated, the County abandoned their plans leaving a brand new concrete road bridge standing alone in the middle of the wilderness more than five miles from the nearest highway. It became a popular destination for hikers who dubbed it the ``Bridge to Nowhere''. Years later the County planned another highway up the East Fork. This time they intended to build it high up on the western wall to avoid a repetition of the earlier disaster. Begun in 1954, this second highway was abandoned in 1969 after only 4.5mi had been built. This second effort left substantial scars up on the western wall. Hopefully that will be the last time man will desecrate this wilderness and it will be left for future generations to enjoy in its nearly natural state. (excerpt from ADVENTURE HIKES AND CANYONEERING IN THE SAN GABRIELS by Christopher Earls Brennen) Modern Hiker also did a great write-up on this hike. Check it out:

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