The Natural Bridges in Oregon are a collection of stunning rock formations dotted along the Southern Oregon Coast. These geological wonders are formed by the erosive forces of the ocean against the coastal rocks. With plenty of excellent photo opportunities, a visit to the Natural Bridges is a must during a road trip through Oregon State. Find in our complete guide all you need to know before visiting the Natural Bridges in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor including the best photo spots of the famous Natural Bridges Viewpoint.
Where are the Natural Bridges in Oregon?
The Natural Bridges Cove is situated in the Samuel H. Boardman State Park in Southern Oregon. If you want to stay nearby, the closest town is Brookings Oregon which is a quiet coastal town on a 15-minute drive from the Natural Bridges.
What is the best time to visit the Natural Bridges in Oregon?
The best months to visit the Natural Bridges in Oregon are the spring, summer and fall months. This period offers more favorable weather conditions with milder temperatures, making it comfortable to explore the coastal landscapes.
The best time of the day to visit the Natural Bridges in Oregon depends a bit on what your purpose of visiting is. For sightseeing any time of the day is great. There is enough shade provided by the forest, so even on a hot summer day, you will be mostly protected.
For photography, the best time of the day to shoot the Natural Bridges in Oregon depends on a few factors. The two most important are light and tide. The tidal movements in the ocean have a noticeable impact on the appearance of the Natural Bridges. With low tide, the rocks on the bottom in the cove are more exposed, which isn’t the nicest for your image.
Mid- to high tide is your best bet. And if you can combine that with sunset for the best light, then you will be in for a treat!
Facing West, the Natural Bridges Oregon gets sunset light, which can add a lot of magical atmosphere to your image. The warm hues of the sunset cast a magical glow on the Natural Bridges. And sometimes the spray of the ocean (especially with high tide) gets illuminated and almost looks like particles of gold flying in the air.
Can you walk on the Natural Bridges in Oregon?
Well, this one is tricky to answer due to the many accidents & unfortunate deaths that have happened over the years at the Natural Bridges in Oregon. The Natural Bridge itself is extremely eroded over the years and can be slippery. It’s definitely not for everyone to walk on the Natural Bridge. And to be fair, the view from the official viewing platform near the parking area or from the right side of the cliff is the best.
But some people might want to stand on the Natural Bridge for photo purposes. This can only be done by experienced hikers and scramblers who know how to handle tricky situations on a cliff.
Extreme caution is necessary when hiking the off-trail to, and on the Natural Bridge. If you are afraid of heights or you’re not experienced with hiking and scrambling, I would not recommend walking on the Natural Bridges in Oregon. The movement of the waves below you can disorientate you and make you feel dizzy. A misstep or slip is fatal and not worth any photograph.
How long of a hike is the Natural Bridges Oregon?
The well-maintained path to the official viewing platform of the Natural Bridges is only a 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) out-and-back walk from the parking area. Go to the left side of the parking and follow the path until you get to the wooden overlook platform. Here you will have a great view of the arch.
If you want to visit another viewpoint opposite of the official viewing platform, then head on the trail at the right side of the parking area. This is a steep path and is technically off-limits. It should only be accessed by people who are experienced hikers and you have to wear shoes with traction.
First, the path is flat, but soon it will become very steep. Be careful and mind your steps. After just a few minutes walk downhill you will see an opening in the trees with a stunning view of the Natural Bridge.
Why are the Natural Bridges Oregon famous?
The Natural Bridges are a fascinating and famous destination to visit in Oregon. The rock formations are a combination of rocks covered with trees on top, and a stunning rock arch, which is where the name ‘Natural Bridges’ comes from. The Natural Bridges became ‘Instagram famous’ and have ever since attracted many visitors.
How was the Natural Bridges Oregon formed?
The natural bridge, which is basically a natural arch, was formed through a process of erosion. Starting as small cracks in the rock, the combination of wind, water, and waves have sculpted these beautiful natural bridges gradually. The continuous action of waves and weathering plays a crucial role in shaping these distinctive geological formations. And maybe one day, the arch will collapse due to the power of the ocean.
Other things to explore near the Natural Bridges Oregon
After visiting the beautiful Natural Bridges of Oregon it’s time to explore more of the stunning Oregon coastline. Secret Beach is a must-visit if you’re in this part of Oregon and easily accessible along the same road.
Then head land inward for some waterfall action. I highly recommend Umpqua National Forest and driving the so-called ‘Waterfall Highway’. You can then combine it with a visit to Crater Lake National Park.
Another option is to head north toward Eugene and explore the stunning waterfalls in Siuslaw National Forest and Willamette National Forest.
Where to stay near the Natural Bridges of Oregon
Brookings is the closest town to the Natural Bridges, at only a 10 – 15 min drive. There are several great accommodations available in Brookings.
We stayed at Beachfront Inn which was an affordable and great option right at the beach! We loved the spacious rooms with stunning views, and even breakfast is included! This is one of the best options in Brookings looking at the great reviews, the location, and value for money.
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I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the Natural Bridges Oregon. For more USA travel inspiration, head over to our other guides.
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