Big Sur, California
Bixby Bridge is the second most popular viewpoint in Big Sur. Most people just stop for a quick photo op in the parking lot, but there are plenty of hidden gems off-trail. The easiest is the cliffside straight out from the parking lot on the north side of the bridge. There are a series of trails that weave their way down, however the easiest route starts closer to the bridge and slowly works its way away from the bridge. Around a third of the way down, it starts to get pretty hairy and you should probably not push your luck. You’ll notice memorials on the cliffside here that reaffirm this. This area is for sure the best photo op and gives you a really cool perspective, particularly at sunrise as the rays of light peak through the bridge supports.
There are a couple other spots that are decent. The back side of the bridge can be a pretty cool view. You can get there from the same parking lot on the north side of the bridge and just cross the street before the bridge starts. There are a couple cool ledges here, but not much of an opportunity to get creative. There is another cool pull off about 1,000 feet from the south of the bridge where you can climb up a quick rock scramble to get another view of the bridge.
Big Sur weather varies dramatically and can look totally different from time of day to season, so its best to just go with the flow. However, we have found that the marine layer is really intense during the summer making for more moody views and a crazy sea of clouds if you can get above them…check out Plaskett Creek Ridge for reference. But if you hate clouds try and go in the spring or fall where its still pretty warm but substantially less cloud coverage.
If you do decide to trek down the cliff side, the dirt can crumble and send you tumblin’