Hiking along San Gabriel River East Fork
This hike is one of my favorites. The trail takes you along the East Fork of the San Gabiel River. You may hike in for a 1/2 mile to just reach the stream or venture back into the wilderness for up to 5 or 10 miles. The stream runs year round and is the largest I know of in Southern California. The water is spring and snow fed. Due to the large amounts of rain and snowfall in 2005 the trail along the creek may be more difficult to follow than in the past. From June through September the water temp will range from the mid 60's to low 70's and the air temperature ranges from 75-95, thus it is perfect to go for a swim. You'll find several places where the water is 5-6 feet deep. It's best to wear walking, trail running, or river sandels. You will cross the stream several times and your feet will get wet! I suggest hiking in at least a mile or two to find your own swimming pool and to avoid some of the crowds. About 5 miles from the trail head, is the "Bridge to Nowhere" (about a 4-hour roundtrip). Back in the mid-1930's they tried to build a road taking you up to HWY 2 (it seems). On weekends, you may find Bungee Jumpers at the bridge. The best swimming holes are just north of the bridge. If you look for them you'll see trout in the stream, though they are quite tough to catch! To get there from the church take the 405N to the 605N to the 210E, exit Azusa Ave (in 2-3 miles). Take Azusa north towards the mountains. You'll see an AMPM Mini Market right near the freeway. This is a great place to stop for snacks, a National Forest Adventure Pass($5), gas (it's the least expensive place you'll find) and restrooms next door at the Jack in the Box. From there take Azusa towards the mountains for about 2 miles until you reach the entrance to the canyon. You may buy a parking pass here as well. Your now on HWY39. Take this road for about 15 miles until you reach the "East Fork Bridge" on the right. Take this road all the way till the end (10 minutes). Be sure and lock valuables in the trunk or bring them with you! From the parking lot take the dirt road north for about a half mile, at which time you'll
reach the trail head. It weaves it way along the stream and crosses it several times.
For more pictures on this hike
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Copyright © 2006, Randall Smith, All rights reserved.