posted on February 06, 2012
The City of Azusa is nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. Its gentle slopes rise into the Angeles National Forest and overlook the San Gabriel Valley. The natural beauty is year round in Azusa. You'll find living in Azusa a friendly experience, meeting personalities through community churches, local schools, and civic events. Azusa is an excellent place to raise a family. The ambiance is that of a small community with strong historical roots, dating back to 1887 when the city was founded.
Early Route 66 travelers will want to make a left on Dalton Avenue (two blocks past Azusa Ave (CAL 39) and cruise around the familiar Azusa City Hall, Auditorium, Library complex looking the same as when the city was popularized by Mel Blanc on the Jack Benny radio show during the 30's and 40's. On past Dalton on Foothill keep eyes ahead slightly to the left for a "first glimpse" of Old Baldy (Mt. San Antonio) and then the landmark Foothill Drive-in Theatre just as the driver steers around the curve onto Alosta. Quickly, kids, look out the back window for the classic marquee. Just ahead is Citrus Avenue. A left turn takes you past the campuses of Azusa Pacific University and Citrus College.
For RV camping, Camp Williams Resort offers sites in a quiet mountain setting with sites that overlook the river with full hookups . Each site has a patio , picnic table and grill. There’s room for big rigs with slide-outs. Some sites are shaded and there is a dump station available.
Camp Williams Resort has good weather year round. You can fish or pan for gold right from your site. Play a game of horseshoes, do some bird watching, go swimming or take a walk along riverfront paths. If you’re hungry and don’t feel like cooking, there’s a cafe on site. A General Store has supplies in case you run out of something.
Rugged mountains and foothills for a spectacular backdrop to a community where people have lived for more than 6,000 years. From the snow-covered peak of Mt. San Antonio towering over 10,000 feet, the San Gabriel river drains a watershed of more than 600 square miles.
The undeveloped areas of river flood plain create corridors of wetlands for wildlife and fish, including steelhead trout. Tributary streams are lined with willow, cottonwood, sycamore, and alders. Higher up are mountain forests, which are home to bobcats, mountain lions, and bears.
This not only provides a diverse and spectacular back drop to the city, but a destination for recreation, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing.
One hike that you may be interested in is to the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s 9 miles roundtrip and is moderately difficult. This hike takes you along the banks of the east fork of the San Gabriel River. While the river banks are wooded and quite lovely, most of the trail traverses the rim above the high water line and most of your travel is through scrub brush. The highlight of the hike is a mysterious bridge built over the east fork in 1936, which has no road leading to it. Actually, in the 1930's a road did lead to it, but was swept away by floods in 1938.
There are some small trails that lead down to the stream just after you cross the bridge. This is a stunning setting with shear pink tinted granite walls, roaring cascades, and the lovely bridge in the background.
Route finding was a bit challenging with many day use trails mixed in with the main trail, washed out sections of trail, and over a half dozen stream crossings (bring waterproof boots even when the water is low). There are a number of swimming holes to enjoy.
Azuza’s restaurant claim to fame is the site of one of the first McDonald’s. It has managed to escape modernization. It was built before Ray Kroc bought McDonalds. It lies deserted and abandoned where Route 66 curves from Alosta Boulevard onto Foothills.
Next stop - Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana
Rocky Mountain RV & Marine is located on “Old Route 66” at 12700 Central, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So if you’re ever traveling this iconic highway, be sure to stop by and say Hello!