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105 votes

Bixby Canyon Bridge

Big Sur, California USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Mon 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • No Public

“An Iconic Big Sur landmark!”

The bridge is “one of the most photographed features on the West Coast” because of its location along the scenic Central Coast of California, and has frequently been used in automobile commercials. The bridge has become a regional landmark and was used in the opening sequences of the television series Then Came Bronson, the films Play Misty for Me and The Sandpiper. The bridge was also in a first season episode of NBC's show Heroes ("Company Man"), even though the scene was placed in Texas. Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. The bridge is located 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along California Highway One. 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 (18 km) inland. At its completion, the bridge was built under budget for $199,861 and was the longest concrete arch span at 320 feet (98 m) on the California State Highway System. Beginning in about 1855, travelers followed a very rough and dangerous track from Carmel south towards Big Sur. At Bixby Creek, the road turned 11 miles (18 km) inland and then led to the Post Ranch on the Rancho El Sur. The 30 miles (48 km) trip could take three days by wagon or stagecoach. The single-lane road was closed in winter when it became impassable. Coast residents would occasionally receive supplies via a hazardous landing by boat from Monterey or San Francisco. After it was built, the bridge was at times referred to as the Rainbow Bridge. This stems from a nearby resort, Rainbow Lodge, which was operated for a period of time by an Army Captain, Howard Sharpe and his wife, Frida. After lumbering came to an end, the Sharpes bought the ranch in the Bixby Creek Canyon in 1919. Sharpe built a dirt road from the lodge up the canyon to Bixby Landing and another road down to the beach at the mouth of Bixby Creek. He sold part of his land to the state to form part of the bridge right of way in 1930.

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Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 15 Helpful
November 20, 2013

I had told my traveling companion that we were looking for a very movie star status bridge, the type of bridges that people drove their Lexus over for a car commercial with Morgan Freeman narrating the sunset scene. This bridge is that bridge. For a free photo opp. I enjoyed it a lot and so did the 10 other cars parked on the wee little space of earth off the windy high way road to take a shot. The sun was setting, Morgan Freeman, scratch that, Jeremy Irons was telling me the history of it being built in 1932 in my head and the scene was set. My not so Lexus car felt very luxury like driving cross that bad boy.

10 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 238 Reviews
  • 409 Helpful
July 14, 2014
Rated 5.0

Bixby bridge is like something out of a dream! After about an hour or so of driving through gorgeous big sur coastline you get to this bridge! The picture doesn't do it justice as you can hike just below it and when you look over the edge realize just how high up it is! Its definitely something worth making a trip for!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kristene Thompson

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
October 06, 2017

Check travel from Monterey to Big Sur. I did see that they are working on a winding road that is built on TOP of the GIANT LANDSLIDE that occurred in the Spring of 2017. See my review saying you need to go through Paso Robles, then west to Hwy 1 to reach Big Sur. It is worth the drive.

Fill up with GAS before you head towards Hwy 1 along the coast where the price are very HIGH.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kristene Thompson

  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 25, 2017

Be aware that Hwy 1 is CLOSED INDEFINATELY north of Big Sur since May 2017. There was a HUGE landslide that will take years to repair. You need to go to Paso Robles from Hwy 101, then take Hwy 46 West to access Hwy 1 North to Big Sur.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 637 Helpful
July 05, 2014
Rated 4.0

Gamers may recognize Bixby Canyon from Grand Theft Auto V.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 637 Helpful
March 27, 2016
Rated 4.0

Bixby Creek Bridge is an historic bridge opened in 1932 and has been a Big Sur fixture ever since. It's also one of the world's most photographed bridges.

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Reviewed by

  • 29 Reviews
  • 33 Helpful
January 11, 2016
Rated 5.0

It was a wonderful scenery. Not too crowded
And it was refreshing to see. I highly recommend going to see the sunset as well.

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Reviewed by

  • 8 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 29, 2015
Rated 5.0

So beautiful! There's a small parking area to pull over if there are too many cars on the side of the road. Just be careful walking across the road. I can't believe this kind of scenery exists in the US. The PCH is gorgeous!

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Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
November 05, 2015
Rated 5.0

This spot is hard to beat. Jack Kerouac fans listen up: this is where Jack wrote "Big Sur"! Next time I'd like to get down onto the beach for the full Kerouac experience. A beautiful place to be alive.

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
May 12, 2015
Rated 5.0

It's part of Highway 1. One of the best roads in the US. You literally HAVE to go to it if you want to take the PCH. Now, I go to the PCH so I can cross the bridge. I really enjoy just stopping and enjoying the sounds at night. To top it off with the historic impact the bridge and other works projects had on our country is amazing.
It's a must do if you are running through California.

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Bixby Canyon Bridge

Big Sur, California


Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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  • Independent
  • Credit Cards not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • No Wifi
  • Free Parking
  • Yes Parking

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