Brookings, Oregon Coast

Step-by-step Hiking Directions to Natural Bridges at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor

Natural Bridges at Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor in Brookings is one of the most popular spots in all of Oregon Coast.

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is a state park that encloses an 18-mile stretch of the highway which features turn-offs and various access to viewpoints, picnic areas, and trailheads.

Popular stops in this area are Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint, House Rock Viewpoint, Whaleshead Beach, Arch Rock, Indian Sands, China Beach, Secret Beach, Thunder Rock Cove, and the most famous of it all: Natural Bridges. Here you will find the best viewpoints in the park – the seven iconic arched rocks and blowholes.

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor Quick Guide HERE.

How To Find The Natural Bridges At Samuel H Boardman – Step-by-step Directions

Getting to the Natural Bridges trailhead is very easy as the parking lot and trailhead are located right off Highway 101.

You could take a stroll to the Natural Bridges viewpoint as it is located on the left side of the parking lot. There’s a wooden platform that looks down to the cove and view the Natural Bridges, or you could also follow the trail down from the wooden platform here to the left side of the arched bridge.

Natural Bridges viewpoint from the wooden platform, left of parking lot.
Natural Bridges viewpoint, more close-up shot where you could see the top of the arched rock or bridge.

However, the path to the famous spot that is all over Instagram is actually a bit more secretive. I’d taken me days of researching, and I finally came across this blog post where there’s a written direction. We followed it but still got lost twice, hence, I decided to write my own step-by-step directions below:

  1. Head to the RIGHT corner of the parking lot. Follow the curved footpath that looks like you’re going back out to the main highway road, but you’re not.
  2. Take the LEFT at the fork.
  3. Take the LEFT at the fork again.
  4. Hike down the steep dirt road on your LEFT. Make sure you are very careful here as it can get very slippery even on dry days because of loose dirt. Stay low and hold on to the trees.
  5. The Natural Bridges Cove viewpoint is located at the bottom of that first part of the steep dirt road. However, you’d need to keep hiking down.
  6. Follow the same steep trail as it will lead you to the top of the arched bridge on your LEFT.
  7. To get the photo of you standing on the top of the bridge, you’d need a person to go back to the Natural Bridges Cove viewpoint (spot in step 5) and shoot down with a long lens. Be careful when hiking up and down in general because of loose rocks.
  8. Hike back the same way that you get down.

It is steep and can be very dangerous. If you don’t have sturdy shoes or if you’re hiking on a wet rainy day, please be very careful. If you are afraid of height or a beginner, please do not go down to the top of the bridge as the view from the wooden platform is great enough. However, if you do, just enjoy the views and do it safely.

I did this trail on a dry and hot Labor Day morning at around 6 am, and I was actually slipping and sliding a few times because of the steep dry dirt road. There were a few couples who also hiked down to the bridge, and one of them got engaged on the top of the arch bridge, pretty cute! Later a guy approached the top of the arched bridge from the left side. It’s possible, but climbing over the arch from that side is much harder.

I’d personally think this spot would be much better at sunset because the entire area would get much better lighting. We woke up early for sunset and waited around until the sun was up all the way, but the area wouldn’t get any better light. But that just means I will be back here for sunset for sure in a near future.

When you hike down into Natural Bridges, this is what you’ll find.
I’m sitting at the edge of the open area near the top of the arched bridge. This is still not the top of the arched bridge.
photo taken from the Natural Bridges Cove viewpoint (mentioned in step 5)
Can you spot tiny me on top of the bridge? This photo was shot from the same Natural Bridges Cove viewpoint (mentioned in step 5)

OUTFIT: flannel: thrifted | shoes: KEEN | pants: NIKE | sport bra: GIRLFRIEND

READ MORE:

12 Best Stops for Your Oregon Coast Road Trip

The Best Portland Travel Guide – Where to Eat, Visit, and Shop 2020

What to Do in Portland in 2 Days – Travel Oregon

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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