Vance Creek Bridge

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The Vance Creek Bridge is an abandoned railroad bridge in the South East Olympic Mountains. At 347 feet high, it was the second highest railway bridge ever built in the United States. I didn’t have the nerve to walk out on it very far. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

First View of the bridge

Not for the faint of heart

Roll mouse over image. No mouse?

If you zoom in close enough on Google Maps, you can see they have mapped this trail. They call it the Vance Creek Viaduct Trail. What makes this a viaduct? This is the only time I’ve ever heard of this being called a viaduct. I doubt the Simpson Lumber Company knows that Google has mapped this trail and made it accessible on their maps since officially I don’t think they want people going out there.

Some guys walking out on the bridge. The large culvert used to sit on the end of the bridge to keep folks off of it. Now it actually helps you get on it. It doesn’t look a whole lot like Simpson is doing much to keep people away from here any more. There was folks coming and going when I was there.

I was as nervous watching them as I was for myself when I was out there.

A view of the bridge from above. This was from a previous hike.

A view of the bridge from above. This was from a previous hike.

A view of the bridge from above. This was from a previous hike.

A view of the bridge from above. This was from a previous hike.

Maps are for entertainment purposes only. I don’t recommend walking on the bridge or hiking out to it since I don’t really think the Simpson Lumber Company wants people going out there. With that said, it’s not too hard to find directions on Google.


  1. there used to be a big (tall) bridge east of castle rock near mt st Helens. now there is a high way there. on the way to the visitors centers. it was before out time. not sure what the height is. but it is tall. it was how they got the logs down the mountain to the saw mill.

    • Hi martin,

      Do you mean the third image on this page or the map on the bottom of the page? The third image is made with a wordpress plugin called hover image. I think it uses some javascript or something. It is basically two images wrapped in some special tags and the hover image plugin takes care of the rest.

      If you are talking about the map at the bottom of the page, that is a different WordPress plugin called xml google maps. Basically you upload a gps file in GPX format and the plugin adds the map using google data.

      If you don’t use WordPress, I’m afraid none of this will do you much good.

      Good Luck,

  2. Hi Jay,

    I’m traveling out this way next week. Is it a pretty easy trail to follow with it not being marked? And its about four miles total right?


    • Yep. Just park alongside the road. You’re right, I don’t think they want people going out there, but unless they build a fence around it or take it down, I don’t think people will stop going out there.

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