Bixby Creek Bridge Big Sur California – Iconic Architecture on the Pacific Coast

Bixby Creek Bridge Big Sur California – Iconic Architecture on the Pacific Coast

As a seasoned traveler and architecture enthusiast, I am thrilled to present to you the stunning Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California. This iconic structure is not only a feat of engineering, but also a breathtaking sight to behold. Spanning the rugged cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway, the Bixby Creek Bridge is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. In this guide, I will take you through the history, design, and significance of this monumental landmark, as well as provide helpful tips for experiencing it firsthand. Whether you’re a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates awe-inspiring architecture, the Bixby Creek Bridge is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. Join me as we explore this remarkable piece of infrastructure that has captured the hearts of countless visitors from around the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bixby Creek Bridge is an iconic piece of architecture that spans the picturesque Big Sur coastline in California.
  • It is a popular tourist destination, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding natural landscape.
  • The bridge’s unique design and engineering make it a standout attraction for both architecture enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
  • Its history and construction, dating back to the 1930s, add to the allure and mystique of the bridge.
  • Bixby Creek Bridge is a must-see landmark for anyone visiting the Pacific Coast and seeking a memorable experience.

Bixby Creek Bridge History

The Bixby Creek Bridge, a stunning example of architecture located on the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur, California, is a historic landmark that has captured the attention of travelers and enthusiasts for generations. The bridge, completed in 1932, was designed to connect the remote coastal communities of Big Sur with the rest of the state, providing a vital transportation link along the picturesque coastline. As a landmark on the Pacific Coast, the Bixby Creek Bridge is an iconic structure that has drawn visitors from around the world to admire its beauty and engineering marvel.

Construction and Design

The construction of the Bixby Creek Bridge was carried out under challenging conditions, as the rugged terrain and remote location presented numerous obstacles. The bridge spans a deep canyon and required the use of innovative engineering techniques to overcome the natural obstacles. At a height of 280 feet and a length of 714 feet, the bridge was a remarkable feat of construction that required the use of cranes and other heavy machinery to assemble its concrete arches and steel reinforcement. The project took over 14 months to complete and involved the labor of hundreds of workers who toiled to bring the vision to life.

Architectural Significance

The Bixby Creek Bridge is not only a practical structure but also an architectural masterpiece. Its graceful arches and sweeping curves blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, creating a sense of harmony between the bridge and the landscape. The design of the bridge has earned accolades from architects and engineers alike, and it has been recognized as an enduring symbol of California’s coastal beauty. Its location along the rugged coast and its breathtaking views have made the Bixby Creek Bridge a beloved destination for photographers, artists, and travelers, and it has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and advertisements.

Visiting Bixby Creek Bridge

Assuming you have made the wise decision to visit the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge, let me guide you through what to expect and how to make the most of your experience. As someone who has visited this stunning architectural marvel multiple times, I can assure you that it is a sight to behold and definitely worth the trip. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Bixby Creek Bridge.

Location and Access

Located along the famous Highway 1 in Big Sur, California, Bixby Creek Bridge is easily accessible by car. The bridge is situated approximately 120 miles south of San Francisco and 13 miles south of Monterey. Once you reach the bridge, there are designated parking areas where you can safely park your vehicle and take in the breathtaking views. Keep in mind that the bridge is a popular tourist spot, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a good parking spot and avoid the crowds.

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Bixby Creek Bridge is during the early morning or late afternoon. Not only will you avoid the midday crowds, but you’ll also have the opportunity to witness the bridge basked in the warm, golden light of the sunrise or sunset. These times of day provide the most picturesque views and are perfect for capturing stunning photographs. However, I must caution you to be extremely careful when walking around the bridge, as there are no barriers to prevent falls, and the cliffs are steep and dangerous. Enjoy the view, but always be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.

Appreciating Bixby Creek Bridge

Not just a means of crossing the rugged terrain of Big Sur, the Bixby Creek Bridge is a masterpiece of engineering and a sight to behold. As one of the most photographed bridges in California, it has gained iconic status and is a must-see for anyone visiting the Pacific Coast Highway.

Scenic Views

Standing on the bridge, you are treated to breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, with the waves crashing against the cliffs below. The sweeping curves of the bridge itself make for a stunning foreground to any photograph, and the verdant hills surrounding the area add to the natural beauty of the scene.

Photography Tips

When photographing the Bixby Creek Bridge, it’s best to visit during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. This will give you the best natural lighting and create a warm, ethereal glow on the bridge and the surrounding landscape. Try different angles and perspectives to capture the bridge in its full grandeur, and consider using a wide-angle lens to take in the expansive views. Additionally, using a tripod will help stabilize your shots and capture the details of the bridge and its surroundings.

  • Use a tripod
  • Shoot during golden hours
  • Experiment with angles and perspectives

After all, the Bixby Creek Bridge is a stunning subject for any photographer, and with a little patience and creativity, you can capture its beauty in your own unique way.


Presently, the Bixby Creek Bridge stands as an iconic architectural wonder along the Pacific Coast. Its graceful arches and stunning natural backdrop make it a must-see destination for travelers and architecture enthusiasts alike. As I reflect on its grandeur and significance, I am reminded of the extraordinary engineering and design that went into creating this breathtaking structure. Whether you’re driving along the coast or simply taking in the views, the Bixby Creek Bridge is a testament to human ingenuity and the beauty of the California coastline. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this remarkable piece of architecture for yourself.


Q: What is the Bixby Creek Bridge?

A: The Bixby Creek Bridge is an iconic reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge located on the Big Sur coast of California. It is known for its stunning architectural design and scenic location along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Q: When was the Bixby Creek Bridge built?

A: The construction of the Bixby Creek Bridge was completed in 1932. It was designed by engineer Frank P. Devlin and was considered to be a major feat of engineering at the time of its construction.

Q: Why is the Bixby Creek Bridge considered iconic?

A: The Bixby Creek Bridge is considered iconic for its graceful design, which complements the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Its soaring arches and panoramic ocean views make it a must-see destination for travelers along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Q: Can visitors walk or drive across the Bixby Creek Bridge?

A: The Bixby Creek Bridge is open to vehicular traffic and pedestrians. Visitors can drive across the bridge and stop at designated pull-off areas to take in the breathtaking views. Walking across the bridge is also permitted, but caution is advised due to the narrow shoulders and high volume of traffic.

Q: Is the Bixby Creek Bridge safe to visit and photograph?

A: Yes, the Bixby Creek Bridge is safe to visit and photograph. However, it is important to be mindful of traffic and to use designated viewing areas when taking photos. Visitors should also pay attention to posted signs and follow any safety guidelines provided by park rangers or authorities.