The Famous Bridges of California
Bixby Bridge – See the photographs below of the famous bridges.
California has some of the most iconic bridges around. Today we take most of them for granted as we drive over them, but back when many were being constructed in the early 20th century they were changing the economic engine of California as the West Coast population was exploding. It is hard to downplay their value when you think about how much time it would take to drive around something like San Francisco Bay when trying to reach Marin County just minutes away from San Francisco. The mountain passes and coastal highways all transport people and goods saving time and money constantly. Unfortunately many of these famous bridges are aging and in need of repair or even replacement.
These picturesque bridges come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Some are suspension bridges, others are more typical arch bridges or beam bridges, and then there are rare bridges like the covered bridge in Felton and the wooden trestle and deck truss bridge over the Albion River. This trestle bridge is probably next to be replaced as it’s the last wooden bridge on Highway 1.
The Golden Gate Bridge might be the most photographed bridge in the country. This 1.7 mile long bridge was completed in 1937 and is suspended by two huge towers with a 4200 foot main span – a record that stood for nearly 3 decades. It is considered a wonder of the modern world by civil engineers. Nearby is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which is also a suspension bridge, but gets far less respect from engineers (and photographers).
Then there are the historic bridges along the coast on Highway 1 including well-known spans such as Bixby Bridge, Rocky Creek Bridge, and Big Creek Bridge all in close proximity along the Big Sur Coast. These arch and double arch bridges frequently grace postcards and calendars. There are many other important and attractive bridges in our state. Here are pictures the best bridges on or near the coast in California.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
There are many ways to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
The Bay Bridge deserves to be photographed more often!
Bixby Bridge, Big Sur
The beach under Bixby Bridge is inaccessible though beautiful
Big Creek Bridge, Big Sur
Big Creek Bridge is less known than Bixby but equally impressive
Rocky Creek Bridge, Big Sur
Rocky Creek Bridge is a little closer to Carmel than Big Sur
Coronado Bridge, San Diego
A vital connection between San Diego and Coronado
Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
This unique bridge deserves a spot on this list
Albion River Bridge, Albion
This wood trestle and truss bridge towers over Albion Flat Beach
Fernbridge over Eel River, Loleta
A unique bridge between Loleta and Ferndale near the coast, (photo wikipedia)
Arroyo Hondo Bridge, Santa Barbara
At Arroyo Hondo Beach you get an abandoned bridge and an active train trestle
Jug Handle Creek Bridge, Fort Bragg
This arch bridge backs Jug Handle State Beach
Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino
You have to walk under this bridge to reach Russian Gulch State Park Beach
Felton Covered Bridge, near Santa Cruz
Felton Covered Bridge is one of the last of this type in California
Bridge to Nowhere, San Gabriel Mountains
You can’t drive to it, but you can hike and bungee jump here!