Bixby Creek Bridge: Photos and History of this Iconic Bridge

As a photographer there are certain things I hate shooting and certain things I love. For me, bridges will always be one of my most loved things to photograph. The style and the construction of these massive elevated roads hold a special place in my artistic heart, and near the top of my favorite bridges is the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge in the Northern part of Big Sur.

Bixby Bridge 6

Details

  • Good size turnout on the North side of the bridge for photography
  • Best at sunset as the sun is not directly behind the bridge

History

Bixby Bridge 9

Before I bombard you with pictures of this bridge here is the history.

Bixby Creek takes its name from Charles Henry Bixby, from Livingston County, New York, who arrived on the Monterey Peninsula in 1868. He purchased large tracts of land in the Big Sur area and harvested the lumber, producing shakes, shingles, railroad ties, trench posts and tan bark.

Bixby Bridge 11

Bixby Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. Prior to the opening of the bridge in 1932, residents of the Big Sur area were virtually cut off during winter due to the often impassable Old Coast Road that led 11 miles inland and could take three days to traverse. At its completion, the bridge was built under budget for $199,861 and was the longest concrete arch span at 320 feet on the California State Highway System. It is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world.

The Bridge

Bixby Bridge 7

There is not a lot else to say about the bridge other then to show you some of my favorite photos from my stop there. If you are looking to photograph the bridge continue to the North side where there is a decent size turn out on the left.

Bixby Bridge 2

Bixby Bridge 8

From here there are paths on both sides of the bridge that you can walk to get better views of the iconic structure. Here are some of my favorite photos.

Bixby Bridge 10

Bixby Bridge 14

Bixby Bridge 13

As you can see I was a fan of my time here and if you are driving up highway one it is a must stop. Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post or to recommend other bridges I should check out.

Photo Gallery

 

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  • Gary Lemay

    A bridge of similar structure and built 4 years earlier crosses Aptos Creek, 6 miles south of Santa Cruz in Aptos. Photo op from train trestle. Check it out.

    • Thanks for the comment I will have to check it out!

  • Chris Hibler

    I just attended a wedding in SLO and took highway 1 down for the first time after experiencing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time as well. Needless to say I took about 1000 photos from every angle I could find. I used your tips as they were very helpful. Looking back at your pictures now I am sad that I didn’t get the angle from North side looking into ocean at Bixby. That is such an epic shot. I did hike down under the bridge, (nearly falling to my death, I luckily had baseball spikes in my trunk and then I was like Spiderman), and got some great shots. Amazing trip and so many photo opportunities along the way. I missed the waterfall on the beach and Bonny Doon Beach :/

    • I am so glad you had fun on the trip and that you did not slip while hiking near the bridge! As far as not seeing the bridge from that angle, it is just another reason to go back!

  • Les Gutierrez

    i went to Big Sur in December last year JUST for this bridge and its absolutely stunning. i LOVED IT.
    i couldnt get off to take pictures but i do plan on going back. im so thankful i got to be there for a bit.
    Big Sur is great for the soul.

    • I agree, Big Sur is perfect for the soul! I wish I could spend more time there as I always love it!

  • Stacie

    There’s the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena that is stunning and has a long history in the city.

    • I agree, I love that spot!

  • Ken Peck

    I was a CALTRANS Highway Engineer and had the great experience of working on a project which constructed a concrete retaining wall and erosion protection on the sea slope at the north end of this beautiful bridge. As I recall t
    his was in about 1977 and I had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with many local property owners who had many stories about this bridge. Thank you for your wonderful story and photos. Ken Peck

    • Thanks for sharing, that sounds like a pretty cool project!

  • That sounds like an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing the Bixby photo, I really enjoyed seeing it and agree the black and white is great for that photo! You have a lot of great photos in that album, made me want to go on a road trip!

  • Roger Dooley

    Nice pictures. This bridge is now featured on a television series called Big Little Lies. I just had to look up this bridge because it is so scenic and Google makes it easy these days. I enjoyed visiting this site

    • Thanks for letting me know, I will have to check the show out.

  • Ricardo Ramos

    Very nice! A real work of art.

    • Agreed, I always love visiting this bridge!

  • Eziekle Crafts

    Morgellons disease is really bad in California. Texas is worse. Whe I drove the bridge I was disappointed that you can’t see much of the structure.

  • Eziekle Crafts

    It was scary crossing the area where the road caved in back in 2011.