Monday, September 1, 2014

Hiking to The Bridge to Nowhere on Labor Day weekend

It was a sunny summer Sunday, and I wanted a 10 miler over relatively flat lands, and hiking next to a river sounded really nice on such a hot, dry day.

We chose The Bridge to Nowhere... (Background: We are two 30-something year old intermediate level hikers preparing for Half Dome in a month. With this post I intend to highlight some helpful tips, but for a more thorough description, please click here...)

Helpful tips: Bring water!

Directions: From the 210 freeway in Azusa, take exit 40 north on Route 39. Drive 11.6 miles north, passing the East Fork Ranger Station at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. (We bought our $5 day Adventure pass here) Pass San Gabriel Reservoir and turn right on East Fork Road- keep an eye out, it's just a small sign. After about 5 miles you will reach a sharp turn in the road. Go left here and cross the bridge, and proceed onwards to the end of the road. If you don't arrive early enough, you will have to park down the road a ways. We got lucky at 9:00am and found a spot right at the top! Right next to the hole-in-the-ground perma-potties. :-)

The river was really low, as we are in the middle of a sensational drought season. We could cross every time without getting our feet wet. Every once in a while it was nice to splash water on my face. If there is more water in the river, it is suggested to bring water shoes, two pairs of socks, a towel, etc.

Beware of the spiny plants that line the path! They will initiate the curious and the uninformed...

 After about 3.5 miles, you start to cross this stretch of desert, then start a slow climb to the finish. It gets confusing here, but if you look across the field, you can see the trail continue up a hill. Just head that way. And drink lots of water.

This sign indicates you are less than a mile away!
 Now you see it... Now you don't! The presence and disappearance of the bungee jumpers. A pretty awesome goal for a hike if you ask me! (If you wanted to know, I didn't jump, I will save that challenge for "next time!") They wrapped it up around noon. 

 This is me enjoying a nice lunch while people jump off bridges behind me. 

 Oz didn't jump, but he landed safely ;-)

On the way back, we saw lots of folks still headed out, looking extremely hot and bedraggled. Most were carrying an empty 16 oz. Arrowhead type bottle. :-( It took us about 7 hours but we stopped often and spent a lot of time playing in the water. I think we could have done it in 5 or 6 without the dilly-dallying.

Snacks: Deli sliced turkey meat, mozzarella sticks, sliced red bell peppers & broccoli, trail mix and Trader Joe's fruit leather. It was too hot to eat though! When we got home we got pizza, mmm!

Good luck and have fun!

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