Trails to Trudge: Bridge to Nowhere

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Bridge to Nowhere

  • length: 9 miles, out and back
  • terrain: well-maintained trail, multiple river crossings and a rocky landscape.
  • payoff: fun, challenging trail that ends with a unique bridge in the middle of nowhere

Bridge to Nowhere is one of the more interesting hikes you can do in Southern California.  It offers multiple types of terrain as you cross the San Gabriel River and scramble over the rocks of the San Gabriel Mountains.  The flora is plentiful and the trail is well-maintained making it an enjoyable hike all the way through.  It ends just like the name says, Nowhere. Then it send you right back the way you came aka somewhere.  Check out my write-up and visual walk through below…

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…from the parking lot, the trail starts up pretty quickly. It was me, Tyler and his dog Chapo…

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…You begin by trudging through a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of Lord of the Rings. Shrubs and plants surround you with water flowing where it can…

…The water is definitely something you need to be mindful of.  There are a couple of crossings during the course of the hike.  It’s never treacherous to cross but you do need to wear proper footwear so you aren’t hiking in wet sneakers all day…

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…After trudging through the wilderness for a bit, you reach a bridge which also serves as a marker. If you made it here, you’re going the right way…

…Once you pass over the bridge, the terrain and landscape remains the same as you fight your way through the brush and cross the river a few more times…

…This is a heavily trafficked trail which can be both good and bad.  For one, you should always feel safe. There is always someone who can come to your need should you need it.  On the other hand, it’s very easy to confuse the trails.  As crowds of hikers have made their way to the Bridge over the years, the trails become well trodden and cross in some places.  For example, Tyler and I started the trail high above the riverbed as we followed a pair of hikers.  We saw other trails winding down below us but we figured the people in front knew what to do.  As we kept going, we realized the trail we were following dead ends.  This resulted in a very precarious hike down from the ridge and into the riverbed…

…I was terrified climbing down that steep face but the adrenaline kept me going and it turned out to be a pretty fun climb. Once we began walking through the river bed, we knew we were getting close.  A note: mind the heat!  There is little to no cover once you start to approach the bridge and on a hot day, it can be brutal.  Eventually, we began to come up to our destination…

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…Seeing the bridge for the first time is a trip.  It’s literally leads to the middle of nowhere.  There is a little sign that you pass as you walk up to the bridge.  It states that the whole area is under video surveillance which I found to be pretty funny.  Once you cross the bridge, the fun really starts…

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…The area underneath the bridge is the coolest part of this hike.  The water runs strong but not hard enough to where it will sweep you away; the terrain is rough and rugged but fun to climb and hike around and it’s also a nice place to stop and catch your breath.  When Tyler and I got to the bottom, we found numerous groups of people swimming, eating and relaxing in the shade of the cliffs…

…After messing around a bit, we began to make our way back up and out towards the parking lot. But not before one last view of the bridge…

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…To put it simply, this is an epic trail.  It’s long with a few challenges spliced in but nothing too serious.  The views are amazing and the payoff is unique.  The heat on the trail and crossing of the river are definitely something to keep in mind but it’s nothing that can’t be handled with a little preparation. I look forward to doing this hike again especially in the summer with a bathing suit.

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