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10 Reasons To Visit Big Sur: Bixby Canyon Bridge


Built in the early 1930’s, Bixby Canyon Bridge rises over a deep canyon as a monolithic entity, towering over the great Pacific Ocean that pounds the ragged cliffside below. It stands as a testament to a great generation past, a World War era monument carved in stone. We parked on Old Canyon Road on the north side of the bridge. I grabbed my trail pack and readied my camera. As we walked along the dirt and gravel road a small wooden staircase came into view. I walked over without hesitation and plunged downward. I was swiftly thwarted. Heavy brush and steep cliff met my feet below.  

Bixby Canyon Bridge

We decided to take a different route. We returned to the top of Old Canyon Road and crossed westward over Pacific Coast Highway 1. The expanse of the Pacific Ocean before us was breathtaking. We happened to pick the one weekend that allowed for 9 miles of visibility, not a cloud in the sky, and perfect temperatures in the mid 70’s. I once again plunged over the side of the cliff, hugging a footpath carved into the side of the rock face. I think Sharif thought I was crazy. I wanted to get a good photograph. I did.

Bixby Canyon Coastline

As we basked in the morning light, a picturesque landscape revealed itself before us. I immediately stopped to breath it in. I realized at once, this was only my first stop and that made me smile. We delayed leaving our perch on the coastline, finding excuses not to leave, but knew we had to keep going. We returned to my car and opted to take one more excursion into Bixby Canyon. I put the car in drive and tested the all-wheel drive capability of my Subaru WRX. She’s still got that loving feeling. We headed downward on Old Canyon Road, kicking up dirt and gravel that threw up a dust cloud behind us as we retraced the footsteps of pioneers before us. Prior to the construction of Bixby Canyon Bridge this old forgotten byway had once connected Monterey to the townships southward. As we slowly drove into the valley below we crossed over a small overpass bridging Bixby Creek, flowing tranquilly out to sea. The dirt road banked sharply into the valley as it cut into the mountain beside us. We found a pocket of civilization, homes built around the creek. Since my obligation was to keep Sharif away from civilization, we took this as our turning point and headed back to Highway 1. At this point we took another detour since we were ahead of schedule.

Our Westcoast Wanderlust Hat was built for the Big Sur coast with mesh back lining for breathability on the trail or at the beach. Grab one from our store by clicking the picture!