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The Best Bixby Bridge Photo Ops

The Best Bixby Bridge Photo Ops

Here are the best Bixby Bridge Photo Ops in one of the most Instagrammable and photogenic landmarks in California.

Palig Dzadourian


4 min read

April 26, 2022

It’s no secret that California is very photogenic, as it’s one of the most photographed states in the world. With so many places to choose from, which one should you go to first?

Named after Charles Henry Bixby, a New York businessman who was captivated by the beauty of Big Sur, Bixby Bridge stands at the end of Palo Colorado Road along the picturesque Big Sur coast of California. Officially opened in 1932, it boasted the highest single-span archway in the world at that time, reaching a height of 280 feet and spanning a total of 714 feet. The construction of the bridge was a remarkable spectacle, with materials being transported across the canyon via a cable suspended 300 feet above the creek—an impressive engineering feat that still draws admiration today.

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Why Bixby Creek Bridge?

Taking pictures of the Bridge is best when the sun is about to set; take in the beauty of the colors.

What’s the fuss about the Bixby Creek bridge, and what’s so special about it? One way to answer this question is to just look at the facts; people love taking pictures of the bridge, even stopping cars in the middle of their drive in Big Sur to steal a picture of the sunset from the Bixby bridge point of view. You have most probably come across some postcards, or scenic TV ads featuring it as well. It is just breathtaking, the graceful architecture combined with the gorgeous view surrounding the Bixby bridge makes for amazing photo ops. The iconic Bixby Bridge also remains among the tallest bridges in the world. If you have a love for photography – capturing stunning views and moments with your camera lens – the Bixby Bridge is the place for you.

Where can I photograph the Bixby Bridge?

Experience the heights of the Bixby Bridge, take in the view around you.

We’re sure you’re wondering where the best spots to take pictures of the spectacular bridge are found. Worry not! We’re here to provide you with all the information necessary for you to go on your photography journey.

The most obvious point would be directly on the bridge itself, to capture the sunset at the Bixby Bridge seems like the easiest and most appealing option. While this is a very viable choice, the road on the bridge does not have any sidewalks or safe areas for pedestrians to stop and take their cameras out, it becomes less optimal. Fortunately, however, there are many other spots to go to if this one doesn’t seem worth the risk.

A few of these locations are found in the northern part of the structure which includes the Castle Rock Viewpoint. This spot is located at the ocean-side north end of the bridge, you will have a very good view of the bridge from there; keep in mind, though, that this is one of the most sought spots of the Bixby Bridge so it can get pretty crowded, especially during sunsets, weekends and holidays. It has the largest parking lot, closest to the bridge, making it very convenient and easy to access. A small historical fact about this spot is that it once had a gas station, restaurant, and small hotel that all got destroyed by a fire in 1940, and whatever remained was bulldozed off the cliff.

Take a step back and explore the plethora of photo op locations you want to run to first.

Another spot is the Old Coast Road, also found north of the bridge. This road was actually the one travelers used before the Bixby Bridge was built, and it was not the safest or most comfortable road to cross. However, if you would like to catch an awesome glimpse of the bridge’s top view and take a picture from a perspective not many usually go for, you definitely can use this spot.

Consider going to the Hurricane Point View for an unobstructed view of the Bixby Bridge from a distance and the ocean behind it. You can find the area in the southern part of the area, a mile away from the bridge itself, free of crowds, and get your lenses ready for some amazing photo ops.

And lastly, if braving the heights by walking on the narrow bridge isn’t something you would rather do, we recommend you go for a drive in Big Sur and stop by instead. Even if taking photos in a moving car is not the most practical thing to do, it is still worth it. Who knows what your lenses will choose to capture on a tall bridge during sunset!

Around the Bixby Bridge Big Sur

The McWay Falls is a hidden gem along the West Coast. Don’t miss out!

While the Bixby Bridge is the main star of Big Sur images and attractions and one of the most widely known spots on the Pacific Coast Highway, there are a few other spots found around the bridge itself that are definitely worth checking out. The McWay Falls is a great addition to the list of places to photograph, named after an early settler of New York called Christopher McWay, the McWay falls is an untouched piece of nature as the trails do not allow hikers to go all the way down to the beach. This is a good opportunity to take your time and find the perfect point of view for your craft, without the worry of potential incoming crowds.

The next one is a shy one, as Pfeiffer Beach doesn’t show itself to just about anybody, almost hidden away at the end of an unpaved bumpy one-lane road. A hidden gem of a location, the sunsets at Pfeiffer Beach are absolutely breathtaking. While the area can go mostly unnoticed by the average passersby, you will find it by carefully looking for it.

Big Sur is extremely popular among photographers and photography enthusiasts, but it can sometimes be a little difficult to time your itinerary, as the lighting can change very quickly during the day. You might not get to all these locations in the span of one afternoon, but whichever spot you decide on photographing, it will surely be worth the trip.

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