Vance Creek Bridge is one of those places where you don’t believe it actually exists until you feel it beneath your shoes. It’s one of those locations you’d imagine Vikings, Phoenicians, or other ancient peoples would incorporate into myths relating to afterlife-ascension or trans-dimensional travel. The tangible electricity hovering through the air naturally has you pondering bigger questions. What was here before and why do I feel so damn tingly? Was this an ancient battleground? A gateway to something heavenly? Trespass here to find out.
It’s actually none of those things. It’s an abandoned railroad built in 1929 that is somehow managing to stay on its unreliable feet. One day it’s legs are gonna cramp up and its beautiful, oaken glory will tumble intensely 375 feet into the pines and creek below. Do not be there when this happens. The railroad emerges abruptly in the midst of an abundance of evergreens, jutting across a gorge separating to mountainsides. As mentioned earlier it doesn’t feel real until contact is made. At this point it’s still a mirage; a concept created by the wanderlusty hooligans of the internet. In the moody darkness of the forrest surrounding it, the bridge and railroad appear as steps to a keyhole of light that grants you vision across the valley. Pretty neat. You’re on the bridge now and you feel overwhelmed. Looking down to get your footing you slowly walk forward, step by step, carefully placing each foot in the center of each beam. The five inch gaps between each wooden rectangle makes it easy to see the ground that you were just standing on moments ago begin to get farther and farther away. Before you know it you’ve just walked 100 meters onto a plank 375 feet up in the air. Once out on the tracks, looking up for the first time toward the horizon will snatch the breath right out of your lungs. Damn mother Earth you really out did yourself this time. The origin myths you made up in your head suddenly seem to make sense. Enveloped in mountains, forests, clouds, and life you feel like a part of something very ancient and powerful. You’re standing on rotting wood, there are no railings, the wind is definitely not helping, everyone you’re with is pressuring you to dangle your feet off the edge, and you’ve convincing yourself you’d be content having this place be the last thing you experience be you plummet to your death. Nothing beats the feeling. Welcome to Vance Creek Bridge.
Getting there isn’t the easiest thing. Number one it’s illegal so check your shoulder here and there for 5-0. Once you buy your ticket to the upper left and place yourself in Seattle you can officially start your journey to Vance Creek Bridge.
- You’re heading south to Shelton Washington so plug the coordinates 47.349 N 123.3026 W into your GPS.
- Your directions will eventually end but you have to keep driving until you see a low rusty gate (that may or may not be open) to the left of you.
- Park you car here as it is a safe distance away from suspicious eyes and start walking uphill along the road toward the bridge. The walk is less than a mile.
- Keep walking up the hill on the left side of the road until you see a massive amount of fallen trees. These trees are tall and skinny and were cut down to cover a road. If you’re vigilant you cannot miss it.
- Once you reach these trees crossover them onto the path behind them. Take a right and follow the trail until you hit the bridge.