Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the most famous and admired bridges due to it’s stunning appearance and impressive architecture situated against the California Coast. It’s basically Big Sur’s equivalent of The Golden Gate Bridge.
There is a small steep dirt path from the parking lot pull off that winds down the side of the cliff allowing for various views looking back towards the bridge. This path could easily be treacherous if you’re not careful and paying attention as it’s a straight drop to the bottom of the cliff.
This isn’t really an area for hiking, more so just sightseeing and taking photos. It was surprisingly crowded by tourists with selfie sticks, but still a very beautiful landmark and worth the visit if you’re taking a road trip nearby.
Directions to Bixby Bridge
Bixby Bridge has become more difficult to reach since the Big Sur mudslide which has closed a portion of Route 1 on the California Coast. The bridge is still easily accessible from the north, but if you are trying to get here from the south, expect an additional hour detour in order to get around the closed Route 1 at Big Sur.
It’s located just north of Big Sur :
- 120 miles south of San Francisco
- 13 miles south of Carmel
- 100 miles north of Morrow Bay
The scenic overlook for the bridge is high on a cliff bordering the Pacific Ocean. As you will likely be coming from the North, there is a parking lot pull off is on the north side of the bridge on the ocean side of the road. A smaller pull off also exists across the road on the north west corner of the bridge. These are the most common areas for photos.
Bixby Bridge History
Bixby Bridge was completed in 1932 for just over $200,000 (equivalent to over $3mil nowadays). To build it, each of the 45,000 sacks of cement had to be hauled up the framework via a system of platforms and slings suspended by cables 300 feet above the creek. The span of the bridge was completed 5 years before the road was linking Carmel to San Luis Obispo.
Why It’s Amazing:
- It’s one of the highest concrete bridges in the world at 260 ft above the canyon bottom
- When it was built, it was the longest concrete arch span at 360 feet