Nestled deep in the San Gabriel Mountains is a dramatic, 120-ft high bridge — the Bridge to Nowhere. As its name suggests, the Bridge to Nowhere is located in an unassuming location. Its construction began in 1936 and was intended to serve as a route between the San Gabriel Valley and Wrightwood. However, a destructive flood in 1938 led to the eventual abandonment of construction. Throughout the past decade, the Bridge to Nowhere has attracted a plethora of visitors as its trail features mountain views, river crossings, and swimming holes. For daredevils, bungee jumping at the bridge is offered on the weekends. If you’re seeking a thrilling day hike, here is a guide to visiting the Bridge to Nowhere:
• Distance: 10.1 miles roundtrip
• Time: 6 hours total
• Difficulty: moderate
• Trailhead address: Camp Bonita Road, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Azusa, CA 91702
• Trailhead coordinates: 34.23696, -117.765119 (34° 14′ 13.05″N 117° 45′ 54.42″W)
• Park phone: 626-335-1251
Fees to Hike Bridge to Nowhere
There is only one parking lot which provides access to the Bridge to Nowhere trailhead, and it requires a fee. Prior to arriving, be sure to purchase an Adventure Pass which could be found at nearby convenience stores or the park ranger station. The park pass can be used for one day.
Tip: If you’re planning on visiting multiple national parks or recreation sites within a single year, I recommend purchasing the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. This pass covers entrance fees at more than 2,000 federal recreation sites and is good for one year from the month of purchase. Click here for more details.
When to Visit Bridge to Nowhere
The Bridge to Nowhere can be visited any time of the year. However, be sure to check the weather when planning your visit. During summer, the heat can be brutal as long sections of the hike are completely exposed with no shade. If you plan on visiting during summer, I recommend starting your hike early in the morning to avoid the heat. More importantly, if the forecast predicts rain or a storm, postpone your visit as portions of the hike require river crossings. Flash floods in this area have killed visitors in the past.
Hike to Bridge to Nowhere
Hiking to the Bridge to Nowhere is completely doable — I saw people of all ages completing the 10-mile trek. The trail itself doesn’t involve steep ascents or descents, but you can expect a handful of brief uphill and downhill climbs. You will be required to trek across at least 3-4 river crossings, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and attire. In terms of reaching the Bridge to Nowhere, the trail only goes in one direction — the general rule of thumb is to follow the path alongside the river.