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4.0 / 5
23 votes
Points of Interest

Vance Creek Viaduct Trail

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NF-2341, Shelton, Washington 98584 ‎ USA

  • Business
  • Engineering Marvel
  • Historic Site
  • Abandoned Place
  • Hiking Area

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April 1, 2014 Top Review!

There are two approaches to this bridge. One is right off NF-23 and the other (longer) is off NF-2341/2199 but requires you to trespass on private property owned by the logging company. I made the mistake of taking the longer approach because it is supposedly more scenic, but someone locked the gate where NF-2341/2199 juts off NF-23 after I got in and I was trapped for a little while and almost arrested for trespassing (the logging company is very strict about enforcing this). Luckily a truck driver got to me before Security did and he helped me find someone with a key that wouldn't turn me in to Security. That being said, this bridge is amazing and terrifying all at the same time. It is well worth the drive from Seattle to check out. Just be aware that the bridge is made from railroad ties with approx 4" gaps between them. So as you are walking out across it, and are looking down at your feet to make sure you're footing is sure, you get the privilege of seeing the water 347' below.

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Your rating:

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

The second highest railway arch bridge ever built in the United States, the Vance Creek arch bridge soars 347 feet (106 mtrs) above a thick forest valley in Washington State’s Olympic peninsula. Originally constructed in 1929 by the Simpson Logging Company, the bridge was eventually abandoned and has neither tracks nor a roadway on top of it. Located several miles north on the same rail line and still in use as a road bridge since 1950 is the High Steel bridge over the South Fork of the Skokomish river and the highest arch bridge ever built for a U.S. rail line at 365 feet (111 mtrs). Both bridges were built by the American Bridge Company.

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Rated 5.0 October 1, 2014

I went here on 09/29/14

The trail to get into this place has been absolutely destroyed to keep people out. There are cut down trees and big trenches built into the path from start to finish. It is not an easy hike as you are going over and under constantly.

That being said it is one of the coolest places I have ever been in my life. The view down the valley and straight down is amazing and the rush of being that high up in itself is crazy!

I have talked to a few people who have been going for 10-30 years and they used to drive their jeeps and motor bikes across it however recently (since it became popular) there are a few holes in the middle from people having fires and burning through sections!

All in all I highly recommend checking this place out although you can't be afraid of heights and be ready for a crazy hike and a ticket (so I hear)

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mochere in reply to Joel Schat on April 25, 2015

How long did it take you to hike to see it?

Rated 5.0 March 22, 2016

I went on March 21st, 2016. Sheriffs are towing vehicles?? Really? They aren't going to get a tow truck all the way out there. And even if they do, there's always multiple cars there. You're not going to get towed. Don't let these negative reviews scare you and make you afraid to go see something that will certainly be worth it.

You'll drive through a really beautiful rural farming stretch of land for a few miles, then you'll make a turn and start up a hill. The road will turn to gravel for a few miles, then turn back into paved road for a bit. You're on NF-23. Park where it looks like they don't want you to park. And you're there. Walk down the trail they don't want you to walk down. And step over the trees they don't want you to step over, and see the bridge they don't want you to see. You'll think everyone who stayed home was an idiot and you'll be right.

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FridaGuadalupeLazo in reply to on September 2, 2016

Can someone send directions from Tacoma? Guadalupe85745@Gmail.com


jaelinmo in reply to on August 29, 2016

Can you send directions? We went to viaduct in Elma and now in Shelton. Coming from Tacoma. jaelinmo@gmail.com

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August 24, 2014

We tried to get there at the beginning of August.
There was a guy at the end of the driving way - he told us that we cannot go there because pass to the bridge is blocked by landowner.
He looked like a ranger though he didn't wear a uniform.
There was another visitor - lady in the car nearby. She told us that recently there was an accident on the bridge - 5 drunk guys were walking there and one of them fall down - obviously dead..

Needless to say we are sad we didn't get there.

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Teodor in reply to on September 14, 2014

Unless I see a single link describing that there was an accident. I would not believe that woman//. Doubt there were any..

May 5, 2014

Just went there and took the 'short' trail, which did NOT have any 'no trespassing' signs. There were other people there, not too many, but I'm sure on a sunny day it would have been more crowded.
The bridge is AWESOME.
For the 'short' trail, which is nice and seemingly legal, drive past NF-2341/2199(which has a 800 sign and a gate blocking it) onto the paved road. Drive the paved road for like, 400 feet and immediately on your left, the first left you see with a trail, is the short path. It has a ditch to keep cars out. But, yeah....be careful.

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Rated 5.0 February 16, 2016

Beautiful place and well worth the drive. We personally had trouble finding which trail to take. The 'short' trail is highlighted by a bunch of cut down trees and even has a ditch in attempt to keep people out - as you are trespassing on private property. We had no trouble with anyone enforcing this when we were there unlike some other reviewers. Although we arrived early around 8:30am and I believe that helped our case a lot. We found parking in an abandoned driveway nearby. The trial itself has cut down trees and small creeks you have to cross all along the way. I'd strongly recommend wearing hiking boots or maybe even rain boots if you choose to go on a drizzly day. The trail probably took us about 15 minutes and was well worth it! The bridge is beautiful and a sight you have to see for yourself.

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December 30, 2015

Despite the scary review from Sfleming265, which is totally correct - you should not go! - I went today. When I parked, I was freaked out by the No Trespassing / Criminal prosecution signs. But I gathered my courage or stupidity, whichever you prefer, and added my boot prints to the well-worn trail. I took the short trail from 23. It's there, it's beautiful, I was scared, but I did it. I'm so glad my vehicle wasn't towed.

Interestingly, there was a vehicle there when I arrived, engine running, window open, but nobody in the driver seat. When I got back, it was still there, engine running, but the window was rolled up. Out of state plates. This alone made me want to drive away. But I finally decided they were almost certainly not in the least interested in me; they were probably running their car to stay warm and had likely spent the night in their van in that spot.

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Rated 5.0 June 6, 2015

Went there today. Took the short trail right of NF-23. I parked at the trailhead which is covered by knock down trees. The trees serve zero purpose, they actually help you see the trail even more! I was up there for like 3 hours, saw 4 other cool people. Came down, my car was right where I left it and I left unscathed. Overall, incredible place. I suggest going but we aware you could get a ticket. For me, once I was actually on the trail, I just accepted I was going to get a ticket. But I didn't, so all is well. I went on a Friday at 2pm. Also, since I'm not from Washington, I put "Vance Creek Viaduct" in google maps, then dropped a pin at the trail off of NF-23. Then just navigated to that pin. Awesome views. Beautiful all around. Just be careful.

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September 19, 2014

Does anyone know how to get ahold of the landowners?

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brent.barrie in reply to on January 27, 2015

This is what I got from Wikipedia. Green Diamond Resource Co Store Rainier Square, 1301 5th Avenue #2700, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 224-5800

September 10, 2014

Does anybody have any information on how we can contact the property owner to get permission to visit this bridge?

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SamuelDoran in reply to on August 2, 2016

Did you end up getting in touch with them Ashten?


brent.barrie in reply to on January 27, 2015

Green Diamond Resource Co Store Rainier Square, 1301 5th Avenue #2700, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 224-5800

August 14, 2014

The short trail is also closed! No trespassing! The county sheriffs are out and giving tickets and towing cars. Do not go without permission from the owners!

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Rated 5.0 August 13, 2014

Amazing place for those who like abundant places.

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Rated 4.0 August 12, 2014

Chopped trees now cover the entire trail. The owner of the property (National Forest Service?) clearly wants to dissuade any adventurer from completing the short trek to the bridge. It took us twice as long as we had planned due to having to duck, bend, and carve our way through the maze of tree branches. There's a path where people have cut through the branches, but even then, it's easy to lose the path in a few areas. Overall, I'd say it was still worth it. The trees on the trail actually made us want to make it even more, and it felt a little more dangerous. #Trailnerds

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August 14, 2016

So no one has gotten towed or a ticket then?

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August 2, 2016

Has anyone attempted to contact Green Diamond resource co for purpose of permission to visit and have any feedback on their attempt?

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Rated 5.0 July 5, 2016

We took The ride to The trail, but there's signs everywhere with Warning with no trespassing all around but there's a steel bridge with a really nice view and a Big drop to a little greek. It's on the to Vance Greek Vieduct trail. Just take a right turn and drive 3 miles out 👌🏻

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May 19, 2016

So i am warning people NOW, there is a no trespassing order set for the entire property surrounding the bridge, The county sheriff can and will tow you car, give you a ticket or you may go to jail. I am only saying this because someone started a fire on the bridge, several of the railroad ties are broken and very soft from water damage. Graffiti has taking over some of the bridge. Because people can not respect the bridge and its surroundings. So please do not go there and the owners are not alowing anyone there under any circumstances PUBLIC NOTICE

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Rated 4.0 May 2, 2016

Went last weekend 30April16. It was pretty strait forward. Yes plenty of signs saying no trespassing. But there is a trail without them. Park on the FS road with the other 15-20 cars doing the same thing. May get a ticket but that's the chance you take. The whole time I was out there was clear.

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March 6, 2016

Please save yourself the time and don't go... if you're very very lucky you'll get a $150 fine per person, if you're not you're looking at jail time or a court battle. Not worth it. PS- to those asking, the owners are a logging company and they're not gonna mess around.

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Rated 5.0 February 1, 2016

Just went yesterday. Ive experienced a whole new level of terrifying! Absolutely amazing adventure. It began to rain and nature gave us an amazing rainbow. It made for stunning images.
Can't wait to go back!

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a.conness in reply to on March 2, 2016

How accessible is the trail? Did you think there was still a high possibility of getting ticketed? I was thinking it'd be safer during winter.


EboniRaeGroff in reply to on February 11, 2016

Do you think it is still risky to go since it is considered trespassing? (car being towed is what I am worried about)

Rated 5.0 September 24, 2015

I went to vance creek bridge today for the first time, you have to jump through a couple ditches before getting to the actual trail.. There are trees that are fallen across the trail & lots of garbage.. If you're planning on going you should bring a trash bag :) i was way too scared to go out on the bridge enough to get that awesome view i seen pictures of! I want to go back & hopefully grow the courage to walk over it. I didn't get a ticket or anything.

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Rated 5.0 August 6, 2015

Not an easy trail it is all blocked by chopped down trees but so worth the hike :) went today 8/5/15

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July 29, 2015

How do i get permission

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July 16, 2015

Has anyone gone there recently with permission? and if so how did you get it?

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Rated 5.0 June 1, 2015

I visited Vance Creek Bridge yesterday. Knowing that I may incur a fine for my presence. In my opinion the view and experience is more than worth the risk. The hike itself is fairly easy and the felled trees across the trail actually add a bit of excitement to what would be a rather boring 1.5 mile stroll through the woods. Making you feel accomplished when you reach the bridge! The view and structure are absolutely breathtaking and a walk across the bridge is a thrill. Enjoy the scenery! I would recommend anyone planning to visit take a trash bag and clean up some of the garbage along the "trail" and at the location. If we all do a little to maintain and clean up maybe the many can fix some of the damage done by the few. Be safe. Be courteous. And remember you are trespassing. :/

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September 26, 2014

How to get the permission from the land owner to visit this place? Can anybody give me the information? Thank you!

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