Everyone on Instagram has seen these insane pictures of the Oregon Coast and they can be found easily just off the Oregon Coast Highway at Natural Bridges in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
What is the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor?
This state scenic corridor is a 12-mile stretch of coast in southwestern Oregon that is made up of rocky coastal cliffs and dense coastal forests.
The park is named after Oregon's first state park superintendent and uses the Oregon Coast Trail as the main trail system through the park.
There are several parking and pull off areas along the Oregon Coast Highway through the corridor with the most popular being Natural Bridges.
About The Hike
The trailhead starts at the top of the cliffs with a path that leads to a wooden viewing platform. This trail is the Oregon Coastal Trail (OCT) and can be travelled in both directions to explore more of the coast.
The viewing platform looks down at the iconic natural bridge you see in pictures but the view is heavily obstructed. Photographers will use other unmarked routes to get to locations that you see in the pictures online.
Continuing along on the OCT you have the option to go down a steep unmarked path. This will take you towards the coast and eventually when you wrap back along the coast you can descend further down to the 'Natural Bridge' path.
The Natural Bridge path is not for anyone with a fear of heights. The path from above doesn't look like much but it's actually a quite difficult and dangerous trail. Not only is the trail narrow and has no ropes or railings, it also requires a 10 foot rock scramble with no room for error.
Almost everyone does this but just know what you're getting into before venturing onto the bridge.
After crossing the bridge you'll arrive at the iconic rocky coast view you see in the cover picture of this blog post. This area is safe to spend time on and explore and you definitely won't forget to watch your step near the edges with the reminder of the waves crashing into the rocks below.
The trail from here essentially loops back up the hill and this is where you get an iconic view of the natural bridges unobstructed.
You can also get another great view if you go a little bit further up hill and then follow the trail that descends towards the bridge.
This was probably my favorite view and completely unobstructed.
If you continue along the OCT rather than descending towards the natural bridge you'll be able to walk in-between other cove areas in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
This section of the trail is rarely trafficked and there are amazing islands and unmarked trails to enjoy exploring.
Getting There and Important Information
The parking lot is located along the Oregon Coast Highway with enough space for about 10 cars. Limited parking is available on the side of the highway but you can park on either of the adjacent parking areas and use the OCT to reach the Natural Bridges area if the parking lot is full.
This is a no fee area and a no overnight parking and camping area.
When you're in the area be sure to check out the Secret Beach located a mile north along the OCT! It's truly secluded and includes a waterfall flowing onto the beach!
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