Difficulty: Easy trail for people of all ages and abilities
The West Fork National Bikeway parallels more than eight miles of the West Fork San Gabriel River. Following a gated paved road, the Bikeway is a favorite of families who want to wade and picnic along the banks of the West Fork, fly fishers who stalk the stream’s wily trout, and bicyclists who enjoy a rare, relatively flat, and paved bike route in the National Forest backcountry. In addition, there are three fishing access points that lead off from the trail and overlook the West Fork, offering a fishing experience to the handicapped. In addition to its outstanding recreational opportunities and incredible scenery, the West Fork provides habitat for rare native fishes, including the endangered Santa Ana sucker.
The first few miles of the Bikeway are heavily used by the public, particularly on summer weekend days. But the further up the paved trail you go, the more likely that you will be enjoying this beautiful streamside trail in relative solitude. About 7 miles upstream of the trailhead, Glenn Camp provides camping for backpackers and cyclists. Disabled people may also obtain a permit to drive in and camp. Just upstream of Glenn Camp is Cogswell Dam and Reservoir. Flows from the dam are managed to maintain the West Fork’s excellent catch and release trout fishery.
Both the lower West Fork, which is paralleled by the Bikeway, and the upper West Fork upstream of Cogswell Reservoir are proposed for federal Wild & Scenic River protection by San Gabriel Mountains Forever. In addition, we are proposing an addition to the existing San Gabriel Wilderness that encompasses the north slope of the West Fork Canyon.
How To Get There
From Interstate 210 in the City of Azusa, take the Highway 39/Azusa Avenue exit and head north. After passing through downtown Azusa and crossing Sierra Madre Avenue, Highway 39/Azusa Avenue becomes San Gabriel Canyon Road and then passes the Forest Service’s San Gabriel Entrance Station and enters the Angeles National Forest. Continue on San Gabriel Canyon Road past San Gabriel and Morris Reservoirs. About 7 miles from I-210, you will pass a right turn that leads over a bridge to the East Fork Road. Continue straight on San Gabriel Canyon Road another 1.5 miles, past the OHV area, to where the road crosses the West Fork. There are parking areas just before and just beyond the bridge. The West Fork National Bikeway Trailhead starts on the south side of the bridge and heads up the West Fork. You will need to purchase a $5 Adventure Pass to park at the gated West Fork Trailhead. You can purchase it at the San Gabriel Entrance Station, which is located on your right just as you leave the City of Azusa and enter the Angeles National Forest.