A majestic hike following the San Gabriel River to the abandoned Bridge to Nowhere where you can relax on the riverbank while observing or taking-part in some extreme bungee jumping.
- When exiting off the 210 West onto North Azusa Drive, an adorable coffee shop is a few blocks north and worth checking out:
- Take the 134 East all the way until you merge with the 210 West. You'll continue on the 210 West passing through Pasadena, Arcadia and Monrovia until you reach Azusa. The exit you'll want to look for is North Azusa Drive and you'll take a left at the stop light after getting off the 210 West. Continue driving until North Azusa Drive turns into the 39. As you drive northeast through the mountains, a "T" intersection will appear with East Fork Road after driving by the San Gabriel Reservoir. Take a right on the bridge and continue on East Fork Road (avoid the split with Shoemaker Canyon Road) and as you reach the Oak Canyon Rest Area, keep in mind there will be a very awkward U-bend intersection ahead where East Fork Road will turn into Glendora Mountain Road. You will want to take the left at the U-bend intersection onto Camp Bonita Road which will take you over another bridge. Once you pass the bridge, the Bridge to Nowhere trailhead will be 0.4 miles up the road; however, the parking lot at the trailhead fills up early so parking along the shoulder will more than likely be your best bet.
- TIP: Arrive early to beat the crowd as this trail becomes very popular with large hiking groups throughout the day. Also, if the lot is full you can park along the street.
- NOTE: You need a Southern California "Adventure Pass" to park.
- Begin your hike entering the trailhead through the road gate on the east side of the parking lot. As you pass the gate, you'll be heading down a dirt road towards Heaton Flats Campground. It's a very popular destination for people to picnic and swim in the refreshing river on a hot day. Once you pass the campground, this is where all the fun begins.
- After about a 0.25 miles, the first crossing of the water will occur. The trail pretty much follows along the east side of the river the entire time with various criss-crosses taking place. Some crossovers are optional in getting wet and others don't really give you an option. Since you brought extra shoes (see pack list above), it shouldn't be an issue to get a little wet. Be careful when crossing the river to avoid slipping on the wet rocks beneath you.
- Approximately 0.3 miles after this crossing, another river pass will occur. Once you cross the river, continue heading north. The path will begin to break up a bit, but any option you take will be fine. Just remember to stay on the east side of the river if you ever find yourself off a maintained path (after this river crossing).
- As you head north for the next 2.5 miles, you'll eventually come to a wooden bridge for Sheep Mountain Wilderness. The trail continues ahead with walking over some large rocks and sand.
- At this point, the trail will drop into a large gravel bead (prior to Rattlesnake Canyon) along the river and the path will split in two. I preferred to stay on the lower route (take a left at the split instead of the right) as this was less dangerous looking than the alternative. You have the option of going with either direction and they both lead up to the path heading to the Bridge to Nowhere.
- Once you make it up, the hike is pretty easy (minus the lack of shade) so continue on the elevated path. You'll hit a "Private Property" sign when entering Devil's Gulch, but you're in the clear if you're only hiking through it.
- Pass these signs and you'll come up to a metal cabin followed by the Bridge to Nowhere off in the distant.
- NOTE: For the narrows, cross over the bridge and follow the path along the ridge. Use extreme caution as this has a very steep drop off and there may be a lot of people present. Continue on this path and you'll eventually take a quick decent closer to the river and you'll notice the canyon walls are much closer and much higher than previously seen. Feel free to explore through here, but keep in mind the potential for flash floods is high if rain is present in the surrounding area. Use extreme caution and enter the narrows at your own risk. We hiked until we reached an abandon shed on the east side of the river and relaxed there before returning back.