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Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Drift Creek Bridge (Paul Gerald)
Dedication plaque at Drift Creek Bridge. Photo courtesy of Sahale, LLC, Photograph by Carroll Vogel
Looking across the bridge. (Paul Gerald)

Contents

Description

This trail bridge spans Drift Creek in the Oregon Coast Range. The 240 foot long bridge reaches from one wall to the canyon to the other, over 100 feet above the creek. The walkway surface is 3 feet wide. The bridge is supported by two 29 foot towers and anchored by bolts planted in rock on one side and in 29 cubic yards of concrete on the other. The bridge provides a view down to 80 foot Drift Creek Falls, as well us closeup views of the upper forest canopy.

The bridge is dedicated to the late Scott Paul, a trail builder with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Mr. Paul was the construction foreman on the early Forest Service portion of the construction. He died in a tragic rigging accident during construction. The bridge was completed by Sahale, a firm that specializes in trail bridge construction. In our area, they also built the Lava Canyon Bridge and rebuilt a bridge on Wind River that accesses Shipperton Falls Fishway for personnel of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

From Sahale's website: "Drift Creek Bridge is unusual for light pedestrian suspension bridges in that it incorporates a quasi-stiffening truss in the deck. The bridge is anchored in rock on one side of the gorge and concrete deadmen are used on the other. Numerous design changes were made by Sahale during the process of construction, including changes to the anchor systems, tower configuration, truss assembly, wind cable connections, and railing system. Materials, including concrete, were mobilized to the site via helicopter, and the mainspan was erected from a skyline, more than 100 feet above the canyon floor."

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Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald

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Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.