Hiking Project Logo

Bridge to Nowhere - East Fork Trail #8W13

  4.4 ( 61 ) Favorite


9.8 mile 15.8 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 814' 248 m
Descent: -814' -248 m
High: 2,792' 851 m
Low: 2,016' 614 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Sameera Kommidi

A great out-and-back to a large solitary bridge.

Sameera Kommidi

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Kid and dog friendly.

Trailhead parking requires an Adventure Pass and a self-issued Wilderness Permit needs to be obtained from the trailhead.


This trip takes you along the banks of the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. While the river banks are wooded and quite lovely, most of the trail traverses the rim above the high water line as hikers travel through low scrub brush. The highlight of the hike is a mysterious bridge built over the East Fork in 1936, which has no road leading to it. Actually, in the 1930's a road did lead to it, but it was swept away by floods in 1938.

Most of the road is gone now, but the bridge still stands, and is full of bungee jumpers on the weekends. A short trail down from the bridge leads to some top-notch swimming holes, making this a perfect hike on a hot, summer day.


Route finding is a bit challenging with many day-use trails mixed in with the main trail, washed out sections of trail, and over a half dozen stream crossings (bring waterproof shoes even when the water is low). I was also astounded at the number of swimming holes. This place must be a zoo in the heat of the summer!

The trail along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to the Bridge to Nowhere is not only one of the best trails in Southern California, but it's also one of the most unique hiking experiences you'll ever have.

After you leave the crowded (and overused) trailhead area, you'll increasingly find yourself awed by the rugged canyons deep in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. Multiple river crossings and shaded glens await you on this trek, with the final destination a 130-foot concrete span bridge leftover from an attempt to build a road north through the canyon.

There are some small trails that lead down to the stream just after you cross the bridge. This is a stunning setting with sheer pink tinted granite walls, roaring cascades, and the lovely bridge in the background.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers, cacti.
Lots of lizards, huge grasshoppers, chipmunks, Nelson bighorn sheep!

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Sep 14, 2019
Anne Omessitam
Sep 2, 2019
With TT =D 10mi — 5h 23m
Jul 9, 2019
L Schmoobz
Jun 15, 2019
Mr T Brenes
11mi — 2h 30m
May 18, 2019
Jennifer Conklin
Apr 20, 2019
John McGonagle
Apr 13, 2019
Bryan Pavalko
river was swollen and the big horn sheep were everywhere! 9.8mi — 7h 30m
Mar 12, 2019
Doc Aswad
Attempted hike today, but river was waist high with strong current. Could not safely cross 1.2mi

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 61 votes


in East Fork


  4.4 from 61 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in East Fork


in California


410 Views Last Month
18,350 Since Oct 14, 2016


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking