Update August 2020: I have been told by many readers that this spot is now closed and parking is not allowed at the bridge anymore.
Yankee Jim’s Bridge is a suspension bridge in the city of Colfax that was built over 90 years ago, and that is a historic bridge with a great swimming hole below it. Just getting to the bridge is an adventure though with a 3 mile, mostly one lane dirt road that you must traverse to arrive at the bridge. If you like historic bridges like I do though, then you owe it to yourself to see Yankee Jim’s Bridge, especially since it is scheduled for demolition to make way for a safer bridge in the next year or so. Here is all the information. Update July 2020: Apparently this spot is now popular on social media (as of July 2020), which is leading lots of crowds here. If you go, know that there is VERY limited parking and a long almost one lane dirt road to get there. Also, make sure that you keep this area clean and take all your trash back with you if you visit.
- 3.5 miles on a one-lane dirt road
- $10 to park if you want to swim below the bridge
- Make sure to note the bridge dimensions and weight restriction before taking your car over it.
- This information is from my visit in 2018
I would recommend pulling up directions to the bridge in Google Maps (before you go out there in case you lose reception) but plan on it taking at least 25 minutes to get there after getting off Highway 80.
After arriving and grabbing one of the half dozen or so parking spots, pay your fee (self-registration), then you can head down to the water or walk on the bridge itself.
Before parking, I drove over the bridge twice, and it is a little sketchy with the way it sounds and feels like it is moving. This is worse when you are walking on it though, as you can really feel the sway.
If you walk on it, watch for cars as this bridge is only a little over one lane, so you will need to stand to the side for a car to pass.
After surviving driving over it, I headed down to the water.
It was the last weekend of the summer, so there were a bunch of people hanging out and enjoying the water. It looked like a nice place to hang out, and I wish I would have been able to stay and swim.
I saw a lot of people cliff jumping while I was there as well; I would not recommend you do this though.
After exploring for a little bit, I headed back up the steep hill to where I parked and started heading back out.
All in all, this is an entertaining adventure in the Auburn area. If you have a half to full day, then take the dirt road trek and hang out by the swimming hole. Let me know what you think in the comments.