The Olympic National Forest is home to many great hikes and over night adventures. The one that lands on most folks bucket list? Vance Creek Bridge. They say you’re a dare devil if you walk across the bridge let alone sit on the edge, dangle your feet off, & take a long look at the gorgeous Vance Creek that runs 347 feet below! I managed to walk 40 feet across the 422 foot long bridge, and with gaps varying from 4 inches to a foot between beams and a healthy serving of fear of heights that’s far enough for me!
The hike to the bridge is a fairly easy one honestly. It’s about a mile from the road to the bridge. The land owners have dug ditches and arranged fallen trees across the path to detour us adventure seekers, but I don’t think it’s working. There are signs posted everywhere that this is private property and you are trespassing so be prepared to possibly have your car towed, receive a ticket, or at the very least have a conversation with a ranger. However, none of those things happened to us on our visit so maybe you would be as lucky and get in and out unscathed.
I would suggest arriving early as this is a very popular spot from spring through the summer months. It wasn’t a problem for us finding the location but several people have said they couldn’t find the trail as there are many trails in the area.
Vance creek viaduct on google maps will take you to some of the trail entrances where you will need to park along the road, remember there is still the chance of being ticketed here. Drive past NF 2341 which is blocked by a gate stay on the paved road (NF-23) for roughly 300 yards and on your left you will see several fallen trees and a ditch to keep cars out this is where the trail begins.
Come one come all, calling all thrill seekers who have this bridge on their bucket list, Vance creek is closed and has been for sometime and I’m sure will soon be a story of the past. As more and more trespassers visit the bridge, act reckless, leaving litter and graffiti on the property the landowners a local logging company are threatening to tear it down all together.
Come visit ‘that PNW bridge’ it’s an experience that should be had by every thrill seeker and nature lover alike. Be kind to our beautiful places and pack it out leave it better than you found it for the next pair of eyes who have yet to experience it.