Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bridge to Nowhere

Photos: To view all of the pictures from this hike click here to go to the photo gallery.
Videos: To view the videos from this hike click here to go to YouTube.

Date:
March 12, 2012
Nearby City:
Azusa, CA
Driving Directions:
From the 210 East Freeway Exit Azusa Ave/ CA-39, at the light make a left onto South Azusa Ave. ( West: Left onto East 1st Street and Right onto North Azusa Ave.) Continue up the road, soon there will be a fork in the road, go to the left- slight Left onto CA-39 N/N San Gabriel Canyon Road. Follow for 10 miles into the mountains, Make a right onto East Fork Road (Its a long bridge going over the mostly dry river below) Follow for 5 miles and make a weird Left onto Camp Bonita Road ( Here the road make a sharp almost U-Turn, keep an eye out the turn is very easy to miss. Once you make the Left onto Camp Bonita Road follow it till it dead ends at a parking lot. An Adventure Pass is needed to park.

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset
Difficulty: 
Easy- Moderate
Why?
There is a small amount of elevation gain.

Elevation:
Bridge- 2770'
Total Gain/Loss- 1000'
Seasons:
Year around, in the summer months this area can get hot and the trail is very exposed to the sun, make sure to check weather conditions before leaving the house.

Parking/ Entrance Fee:
An adventure pass is needed to park at the Chantry Flats parking area. They can be bought online here or find a location near the trailhead here.

Cell Service:
T-Mobile - None
Trails:
Bridge to Nowhere (East Fork San Gabriel River)- 10 miles Round Trip
 
Trail Condition: 
The trail can be very easy to follow for large sections of the trail, but make sure to pay attention to where you are going, there are many "short cut" trails and you can easily take the wrong one. Some of these trails will go on for a while then end. There are also many stream crossings so make sure to bring water shoes.

Trail Directions:
From the parking area head down the road past the locked gate to Heaton Flats Trail junction (8W16). In about 30- 40 minutes the trail will go past some old cement bridge remnants with two logs tied together to cross over. Once across head up the trail, look up to the right a little, theres an old rock building with a tiny window. After one more river crossing the river bends right and looking up at the mountains ahead a small road can be seen, this is Shoemaker Road. Eventually the trail will go over a small wooden foot bridge leading you into Sheep Mountain Wilderness. From the bridge in about 10-15 minutes the first view of the Swan Rock can be seen. It is located ahead on the mountain side. (See picture) The trail is sort of hard to follow after this point, make sure to pay attention to the trail you are on and where it is headed. Eventually the trail will head up high away from the river and soon pass a white pole with a 4 on it marking 4 miles. Continue on for another half mile to a sign talking about private property, Head past this sign another half mile to another sign and a gated off area with large green bins. Bungee jumping off the bridge is offered on weekends by the company Bungee America  After hanging out on the bridge for a while head back the way you came or continue on past the bridge.
Other Activities:
Backpacking
Hiking
Camping
No Dogs Allowed

Jessie's Thoughts:
Bridge to nowhere is one of those must do hikes. Its a relatively easy hike, the hardest parts are following the trail, but very doable if you take your time. The 5 mile hike to the bridge seems like an eternity with a ton of stream crossings and a little confusion with the trail but once at the bridge and witnessing the oddity of a huge cement bridge out in the middle of nowhere you will be glad you made the trek.

Map:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

2 comments:

thanks for the info, going there today.

This is one of my favorite hikes in Southern California, I hope you enjoyed it!

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