Sitting above where the famous Bridge to Nowhere is located, this 5-mile round trip hike winds through two abandoned highway tunnels in the beautiful San Gabriel mountains.
It’s probably not a good idea to do this hike when it’s 90 degrees out but I was up for the challenge and needed an adventure. The trail is fully exposed, except for the tunnels of course, so come prepared. Sunscreen, bug spray, water, an umbrella and a flashlight, should definitely be on your list of things to bring when doing this hike.
Despite 15 years of hard work by the prisoners of Detention Camp 14, less than 5 miles of road were ever completed. Budget cuts and protests finally put an end to the construction in 1969 and the area was further protected from development after it was granted wilderness status in 1984.
A cluster of swallows have claimed the entrance to this tunnel as their home…
At 700-feet long, it’s 300-feet shorter than its sister to the south.
Shoemaker Canyon was named for grizzled gold miner Alonzo Shoemaker, who worked this area of the East Fork during the 1870s and 1880s.
After completing the tunnel hike, I attempted to explore a lesser known mini-tunnel located underneath Shoemaker Canyon Road.
After making it in about 50-60 feet, I realized it was swarming with mosquitoes and black flies and got the hell out of there as fast as I could.
After that, I went to go check out another spot I had passed on my way in.
Located above a water tank that sits along Shaoemaker Canyon Road, this flat area included several outbuildings, some rusted tanks and an overgrown emergency helipad.
An old shed contructed out of river rock and corrugated steel sits next to a concrete vault, that looks like it could’ve been used to store equipment or possibly even explosives at some point.
The thick walls of the concrete vault ended up being the perfect place to escape the scorching sun.
There’s even a grave marker perched up on a hill but the story behind the name that’s listed on it is unknown.
Perhaps the Bridge to Nowhere hike would’ve been a better option on a hot summer day like this. At least I would’ve been able to cool off in the river. If you ever decide to do this hike, I would highly recommend doing it during the cooler months of October through May. Happy hiking.