Bixby Creek Bridge photo

Bixby Bridge | A Big Sur Coastal Beauty

Big Sur, California’s bridge known as Bixby Creek Bridge or Bixby Bridge. It stands approximately 13 miles southwest of Carmel on California’s Pacific Coast Highway and serves as one of its primary structures. It is a beautiful view of the stunning Big Sur and one of the most photographed bridges. It’s more than a great photo spot. It also offers excellent nature and hiking trails. If you’re seeking the most stunning view of the bridge, you can visit The Castle Rock viewpoint on the north side. You can also go half a mile towards The Bixby Bridge Vista point. If you plan to see at the golden hour, plan for traffic jams and limited parking, particularly in the summertime.


Bixby Bridge CA

Charles Henry Bixby was an investor from New York who owned substantial amounts of land along the California coastline in 1889 and 1890. To facilitate trading more efficiently, Bixby proposed that Route 56/Highway 1 be built between his land and larger settlements; California approved his bridge project that year, and construction concluded within 6 months later – eventually dedicating the structure after that year as his legacy remains remembered today.

The Bixby Bridge was constructed as an effective way of linking northern California with southern California via Big Sur, an area protected by the state. This landmark structure promoted coastal highway development while saving engineers time from digging tunnels through the Santa Lucia Mountains. As a result, people had access to new transport routes across western coast regions for travel or trade purposes.

Bixby Creek Bridge spans 714 feet of reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge construction. Its signature feature is its single, graceful arch that soars 280 feet above its canyon below – one of the world’s highest single-span concrete bridges! This design not only complements natural surroundings but also showcases the engineering prowess of its time.

Location & Direction of Bixby Bridge:

Pacific Coast Highway

The Bixby Creek Bridge, commonly known as Bixby Bridge, is located in Big Sur, California, USA. It spans Bixby Creek and is situated on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, California State Route 1. The bridge is approximately 120 miles (193 kilometers) south of San Francisco and about 13 miles (21 kilometers) south of the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Bixby Bridge Parking:

big sur Parking

Parking near the Bixby Creek Bridge can be challenging due to its popularity and the limited space available. There are a few options for parking:

  1. Bixby Creek Bridge Parking Area: There is a small parking area located on the west side of Highway 1 near the bridge. This parking area fills up quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons, so arriving early is advisable.
  2. Turnouts along Highway 1: Along the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), there are several turnouts where you may find space to park. Visitors often use these turnouts to stop and admire the views of the bridge and coastline.
  3. Parking further away and walking: If you’re unable to find parking near the bridge, you may need to park at a farther distance and walk to the bridge. However, be mindful of parking regulations and safety concerns when walking along Highway 1.

It’s essential to obey all parking regulations and be cautious when parking along Highway 1, as it is a busy and winding road. Additionally, consider visiting during off-peak hours or weekdays to improve your chances of finding parking.

Bixby Bridge Attractions:

Bixby Bridge Attractions

Bixby Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks along California’s Pacific Coast Highway, is not just a feat of engineering but also a gateway to a plethora of natural wonders and recreational activities. Situated in Big Sur, this magnificent bridge has captivated travelers for decades with its breathtaking vistas and cultural significance.

Scenic Beauty:

The allure of Bixby Bridge lies not only in its architectural grandeur but also in the stunning vistas it offers. Perched high above the rugged coastline, the bridge provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and lush forests, making it a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Whale Watching:

One of the most exhilarating experiences near Bixby Bridge is whale watching. During the migration seasons, visitors can spot majestic gray whales as they journey along the coast. The rugged cliffs surrounding the bridge offer ideal vantage points for observing these magnificent creatures as they breach and spout in the shimmering waters below.

Hiking Trails:

Exploring the trails around Bixby Bridge unveils a treasure trove of natural wonders. From easy strolls to challenging hikes, there’s something for every adventurer. Trails such as the Bixby Creek Trail and the Old Coast Road Trail lead to secluded beaches, hidden waterfalls, and awe-inspiring vistas, providing a perfect escape into nature.

Bird Watching:

Bird enthusiasts will delight in the diverse avian species that call the area around Bixby Bridge home. From graceful seabirds soaring above the ocean to colorful songbirds flitting among the trees, there’s no shortage of feathered wonders to admire. Early mornings and late afternoons offer the best opportunities for bird watching, with species like pelicans, ospreys, and falcons commonly spotted.

Picnic Areas:

For those seeking a tranquil retreat, Bixby Bridge offers several idyllic picnic spots. Whether it’s a family gathering or a romantic rendezvous, the lush surroundings and soothing sounds of the ocean create the perfect ambiance for a leisurely picnic. Visitors can relax, unwind, and savor the beauty of nature while enjoying a delightful meal with loved ones.

Rock Climbing:

Thrill-seekers will find ample opportunities for rock climbing near Bixby Bridge. The rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops provide an exhilarating challenge for climbers of all skill levels. With proper safety gear and guidance, adventurers can scale the vertical walls and experience the thrill of conquering nature’s obstacles while enjoying unparalleled views of the coastline.


Fishing enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of marine life teeming in the waters beneath Bixby Bridge. From shore fishing to deep-sea excursions, there are various options to reel in the catch of the day. Whether it’s casting a line off the bridge or chartering a boat for a fishing expedition, the opportunities are endless for anglers seeking an unforgettable adventure.

Sunset Watching:

As the day draws to a close, Bixby Bridge becomes a prime location for witnessing mesmerizing sunsets. The golden hues of the setting sun casting a warm glow over the rugged coastline create a truly magical spectacle. Visitors can gather along the cliffs or on the bridge itself to witness nature’s breathtaking farewell to the day, a moment that lingers in the memory long after the sun dips below the horizon.

Cultural Significance:

Beyond its natural beauty, Bixby Bridge holds a rich cultural heritage. Over the years, it has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and works of art, cementing its status as an iconic symbol of the California coastline. The bridge also holds significance in local folklore, with tales of ghostly encounters and mysterious happenings adding to its allure.

Wildlife Spotting

The area surrounding Bixby Bridge is home to a diverse array of wildlife, from elusive deer and coyotes to playful sea otters and seals. Patient observers may also catch a glimpse of majestic condors soaring overhead or playful dolphins frolicking in the waves below. Every visit to Bixby Bridge offers a chance to connect with the natural world and witness its wonders up close.

If you are interested in bridges, go through the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bixby Bridge is more than just a crossing; it’s a gateway to adventure, beauty, and wonder. Whether you’re marveling at the breathtaking vistas, embarking on outdoor escapades, or simply soaking in the tranquility of nature. The bridge offers something for everyone. So, pack your camera, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a journey to discover the enchanting allure of this iconic landmark.


Is Bixby Bridge open to pedestrians?

Yes, pedestrians are allowed on the bridge, but it’s essential to stay within designated areas and be mindful of passing vehicles.

Are there any fees for visiting the Bridge?

No, there are no entrance fees or parking fees for visiting the bridge.

Can I bring my pet to Bixby Bridge?

Yes, you can bring your pets in the area surrounding Bixby Bridge. It’s essential to keep them on a leash and clean up after them to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

What is the best time to visit Bixby Bridge?

You can visit year-round, but spring and fall offer pleasant weather and smaller crowds, making them ideal times to explore the area.

Are there any restrictions for drones flying near?

Yes, drone flying is prohibited within the vicinity of Bixby Bridge due to safety concerns and regulations.

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