Hike to the Bridge to Nowhere

Details

Distance

10 miles

Elevation Gain

900 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Ben Lertsakdadet

10-mile round-trip hike with about 900 feet in elevation gain. You’ll have to cross the river a few times. Be careful when stepping on rocks and fording during rainy months. Enjoy the swimming hole and picturesque bridge once you arrive at the end of the trail. Duration: 5-6 hours.

The trail on this 10-mile hike is predominately slow and steady, but can be a little rocky, so be prepared to scramble. When you’re fording the river, the water level can range from knee to chest high, especially in the wet months. A good pair of waterproof hiking boots is helpful, but water shoes can offer value when the water is really high. You will run into river crossings early in the trail, so just remember that you’ve got quite a bit to hike afterward.

Keep in mind that this trail gets popular especially during the summer months. It’s best to arrive early if you’re hoping to park in the lot. If you arrive a little too late, you can park along the road near the trailhead.

To start the hike, head up the dirt road toward Heaton Flats Trail Camp. From here, you’ll continue on the Bridge to Nowhere Trail. The only junction you’ll pass is at the camp. Keep heading up the Bridge to Nowhere Trail and be prepared for a few river crossings as well as a bit of boulder scrambling.

Once you reach the bridge, reward yourself with the swimming hole that’s a steep 0.1 miles downhill once you pass the bridge. Take a dip and relax before your hike back.

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Know for

Hiking
Bathrooms
Picnic Area
River

Nearby

Reviews

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Fun Hike At the Right Time

The crowds can be tough here. For detailed hike directions, check out my post here: https://hikingguy.com/hiking-trails/best-la-hikes/bridge-to-nowhere-hike/

Explorer

🥈 Contributor

over 4 years ago

One of my favorite hikes in SoCal

This is an amazing hike. The only difficult part is staying on the trail, as it can be pretty confusing! There seem to always be people on the trail, so its very hard to get lost. Be prepared to get your feet wet as there are a lot of river crossings. If you're feeling up for it, and the water level isn't too high, I definitely recommend hiking down below the bridge. Beautiful vantage point of the bridge, and fun to explore the river below!

🥈 Contributor

over 4 years ago

Bring lots of water!

Or bring a LifeStraw (or similar). The terrain can be pretty difficult, and if you have a late start and it's warm, that'll only up the difficulty. It's an awesome hike there and back, my gripe is that sometimes you can lose sight of any discernible trail, and, well, there IS somewhere when you get nowhere. That somewhere is a bungee jump station.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Unique SoCal Hike

This is a fun and unique hike unlike any other in Southern California. The hike it self has a bit of everything ranging from up hill climb and down hill climbs to river crossing and switchbacks. At the halfway turnaround point you will find a literal bridge to nowhere, a bridge that ends in the side of a mountain, complete with multiple swimming holes below to enjoy your afternoon lunch by. Do be warned that this is a long and STRENUOUS and VERY EXPOSED. Bring lots of water and plan on stopping at the bridge to rest and enjoy some lunch.

Classic East Fork Trail!

Really fun hike pretty rugged! Two ways to get to the bridge you either follow the river all the way or hike along side the mountain other than that I love how it runs right by a river the whole trail! So be sure to bring the lifestraw just in case you run out of water!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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