Bridge to Nowhere

I’m so sorry. I’ve been totally falling behind in my posts and there’s so much I need to tell you about. So let’s start with my hike out to the Bridge to Nowhere that has been haunting me for over a month now.

It all started much like most of my Saturday mornings, well, at least most of my Saturdays up to that point this year. It was a fairly cool morning by LA standards and I wanted to get out on the trail before it became too hot and crowded. From the reading I had done prior to going it’s a popular hike and many of the local hiking blogs had rated it as one of the best hikes in the greater LA and/or SoCal area. Of course, because of this I had to check it out to see if it does indeed life up to to the hype and because of this I knew I needed to get on the trail before the rest of world.

So, I set off from my place before 6:30am and made it to the trailhead before 8am. The parking area was already full and the road leading in was quickly filling up as well. A Meetup group was starting to gather too (they were set to leave at 9 and there were already over 70 people waiting). The girls and I set out to make the 10 mile round trip in a hurry and I’m glad we did.

At the end of the parking lot, you’ll find a locked gate, walk around this and follow a wide dirt road. You’ll come to a few signs and a nice map of the area along with a bathroom. This is a jumping off point for quite a few hikes in the area that I’d like to come back to and explore when the weather during the day is cooler. From here you will pass a few campsites on your left and then the “trail” starts. While I managed to get off trail a few times I just kept heading upstream and was always able to pick it back up. You’ll cross the East Fork of the San Gabriel River quite a lot, more than I thought, so be sure you wear appropriate footwear. Even though we had a terrible winter this year, in terms of rain fall, there was still enough water running to get wet. There were several swimming holes that Abby and Lexi fully enjoyed.

Eventually the trail will head up and away from the river but the incline is not terrible. There wasn’t much shade and the sun definitely made its presence known. This is where an early start pays off. I can’t imagine what it would feel like at 4pm in August. Continue on until you come across the private property sign. At this point it’s only a short walk to the bridge which doesn’t look all that remarkable. Cross over and walk a few dozen feet up the trail for a better view. Plus, from this vantage you can watch the bungee jumpers.

Bridge to Nowhere BW

 

Keeping on the trail on the return portion of this hike was a piece of cake. Keeping the rocks to hold still was a whole other story. Let’s just say, take your time and don’t pull something really stupid like me. I was about two miles away from the truck and a was cruising right along making great time until…I gracefully went from one rock to another and heard a nice loud “Pop” as my ankle rolled. My inner vocabulary became not so inner anymore and became rather colorful. Thankfully, there was a nice chilly stream a few feet away in which I could rest before I walked-ish my sorry ass back to the truck.

It had been a beautiful 15 years since the last time I pulled a stupid move like that and I seriously never want to repeat it ever again. My ankle turned beautiful colors and tripled in size for awhile. Sprained ankles can take months to heal and I’m trying to be patient. Trying is not so easy.

A Short History:

The Bridge to Nowhere is an arch bridge that spans the East Fork of the San Gabriel River in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness area of the San Gabriel Mountains. It was built in 1936 and was meant to connect the San Gabriel Valley with Wrightwood. The project was abandoned due to a flood in March of 1938 . The bridge and a few patches of road are all that remain.

How to Get There:

Take the 210 north and exit Azusa Blvd.  then head north (towards the mountains) on Azusa Blvd.. The road turn into Hwy 39. Dive 10 miles past the San Gabriel dam and turn right on East Fork Road. At the end turn left and drive over the bridge. The parking area will be at the end.

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