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Great Hikes: The Bridge to Nowhere

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In 1936, construction was completed on a bridge that spanned the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, deep in the wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains. Once the bridge was finished, construction of the East Fork Road commenced, which was to connect Los Angeles to California State Route 2. But in 1938, a massive flood destroyed much of the road and plans shifted to build the connection in another area.

The bridge, however, remained, connecting nothing to nothing. And there it still stands today.

While you can't take a car over the bridge, the destination has become one of the most popular hikes in Los Angeles. The trail is not for the meek of heart. It's a 10-mile round trip, starting at Heaton Flats Trail Camp in Azusa. There are at least four river crossings, depending on the rainfall, and you may also have to wade through water that could reach waist-high. There's also no potable water on the trail, so make sure to pack plenty of it. The whole trip should take you about six hours, depending on how long you stay at the bridge. When you get to the end, enjoy a dip in the river under the shady overhang of the bridge. And don't be surprised if you see a handful of bungee-jumpers hoisting themselves over the bridge's side and letting gravity do its work.

Before you head out, make sure you get an Adventure Pass from the Forest Service, or you may end up paying a fine. For more information about the hike, check out this great write-up of the trail.

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