Exploring the Second Tallest Bridge in Washington State

Billy Savanh
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Vance Creek Bridge is officially closed to the public. Visitors will be ticketed for trespassing. 

Tucked away in the forgotten southeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, less than a two hour drive from downtown Seattle, the Vance Creek Railway Bridge sits abandoned over a small tributary of the Skokomish River. Spanning 422 feet across and towering 347 feet above the creek below, walking along this bridge is exhilarating, scary and somewhat dangerous.

Originally built in 1929, the Vance Creek Bridge helped timber companies gain access to some of the best logging in America. Towering old growth forests once stood on the other side of the steep hills of the southern Olympic Peninsula and the bridge allowed for quick work of the once pristine forests. Once the logging industry started declining in the 1970's, the bridge was abandoned and mostly forgotten about until 2012.

Douglas Scott

It used to be that on clear, sunny days, the area would receive hundreds of visitors, each of whom would try to test their fear of heights by attempting to cross the bridge. The majority of people would walk the first 40 feet of the bridge, where a small platform is supported by solid beams, allowing for what appears to be death defying pictures. Near the midway point of the bridge, vandals in recent years have burnt railroad ties, leaving the route across more exposed than in other sections.

Today, the bridge is closed to the public, and any visitors will be ticketed for trespassing.

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