Big Sur: Bixby Bridge

This week we took an overnight road trip to see Big Sur, a rugged coastline a few hours south of San Francisco, California, where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. From wikipedia, “the section of Highway 1 running through Big Sur is widely considered as one of the most scenic driving routes in the United States, if not the world.”

We drove the Big Sur coast in the afternoon, stopping to take in views of the Bixby Creek Bridge and the surrounding coastline. Shown above, steep cliffs and white water frame the ocean, with the Bixby Creek Bridge in the distance. See the white highway in the upper right, and follow it across to the white arch of the bridge.

Built in 1936, the Bixby Creek Bridge uses a single concrete arch to span the canyon cut by Bixby Creek. I used a wide-angle lens (16mm) to capture the yellow flowers, the bridge, and the coastline.

Bixby Creek Bridge and coastline
Bixby Creek Bridge and coastline

The canyon is deep, but it’s hard to get a sense of scale. There’s a bicyclist in a yellow shirt near the center of the arch.

Bixby Bridge w/ bicyclist
Bixby Bridge w/ bicyclist

This crop from the above photo shows the bicyclist and a car.

crop showing bicyclist
crop showing bicyclist

Driving through Big Sur takes concentration because of the windy road and vertical cliffs into the ocean. Passengers get to enjoy the views much more than the driver. On past trips to Big Sur, we drove over the bridge without stopping, taking in the views of the coast but missing a view of the bridge. Last year our son ran the Big Sur Marathon that crossed this bridge. We wanted to see the bridge this year, so we mapped out the bridge in advance to know where to stop. The Bixby Creek Bridge is graceful and adds a sense of scale to the majesty of Big Sur.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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