Six Of The Prettiest Covered Bridges To Visit In Oregon This Fall

Yellow and orange leaves next to the white Dorena covered bridge in fall with fall leaves on the road.
Dorena Covered Bridge in Oregon. Photo by Ian Gwaltney via Flickr CC2.

From Oregon’s oldest remaining covered bridge, to the widest covered bridge in the state, and the all around most gorgeous covered bridge Oregon has to offer, Oregon has 50 remaining covered bridges to visit.  Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in Oregon, and covered bridges are some of the best spots to stop and take in the beauty and history of our stunning state.

Drift Creek Bridge – Oregon’s Oldest Remaining Covered Bridge

Drift Creek Bridge was originally built in 1914. Photo by Kirt Edblom via Flickr CC2.

In 1914 Drift Creek Bridge was built south of Lincoln City Oregon just a mile and a half from the Oregon coast.  By the 1960s the bridge had fallen out of use due to newer concrete bridges in the area.

Drift Creek Bridge. Photo by Kirt Edblom via Flickr CC2.

This historic bridge was rotting and falling apart when Laura and Kerry Sweitz decided to take it apart and re-build it on top of a concrete bridge spanning Bear Creek.  Thanks to their dedication this 66 foot Howe Truss bridge is now preserved and useable once again.  See a short video of the bridge here.

Lowell Covered Bridge – The Widest Covered Bridge In Oregon

Lowell Covered Bridge In Oregon lit up with Christmas Lights.
The Lowell Covered Bridge. Photo by Bruce Fingerhood via Flickr CC2.

The Lowell covered bridge is visited regularly by people traveling over Highway 58 as it’s an easy spot to pull off and park to stretch your legs.  In the spot where Lowell bridge sits, a pioneer named Amos Hyland used to operate a ferry to get people across the river until 1907 when Nels Roney and eight other men built the covered bridge.

Lowell Covered Bridge in daytime.
Lowell Covered Bridge Photo by Bruce Fingerhood via Flickr CC2.

The Lowell covered bridge was used to cross the water in this spot from 1907 until the 1940’s when there was an accident where a truck damaged the bridge.

A new covered bridge was built to replace it in 1945 (a covered Howe truss), and was in use for vehicles until 1981.  This bridge from 1945 is the 24 foot wide covered bridge you can visit on foot today.

Grave Creek Covered Bridge – The Only Covered Bridge In Oregon Visible From I-5

Grave Creek Covered Bridge at night with stars overhead.
Grave Creek Covered Bridge. Photo by James Ronan via Flickr CC2.

Just 14 miles north of Grant’s Pass is the Grave Creek Bridge.  In the fall of 1846 a 16 year old emigrant girl died of typhoid fever on the banks of what was then Woodpile Creek.

The road going through Grave Creek Covered Bridge in Oregon on a sunny day.
Grave Creek Covered Bridge. Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC2.

The creek was renamed Grave Creek, and in 1920 the Oregon State Highway Department built a 105 foot Howe Truss supported by dumbbell concrete piers crossing it.

Gilkey Bridge Crosses Thomas Creek Near The Former Booming Community Of Gilkey

The inside of Gilkey Covered Bridge in the daytime.
Gilkey Covered Bridge. Photo by Ian Sane via Flickr CC2.

In 1939 a 120 foot Howe Truss covered bridge was built to span Thomas Creek.  The Gilkey Bridge is on the National Register Of Historic Places.  This bridge was an important crossing for the town of Gilkey Station, which was established in 1880 and served as a shipping point for farm products.  Children used to leap into the waters of the creek in summers from the top of the covered bridge, or swing into the water from a swinging rope tied to the framework of the bridge.

Gilkey Covered Bridge over the blue green water of Thomas Creek on a cloudy day in Oregon.
Gilkey Covered Bridge Spanning Thomas Creek In Oregon. Photo by Kirt Edblom via Flickr CC2.

The Gilkey Bridge was damaged in 1997 by an overloaded truck, and then again in 2006 when a truck driver left the hydraulic boom extended on his truck when going over the bridge.

The truck and boom traveled three fourths of the way across the bridge before stopping, damaging the roof and snapping power lines.  The Gilkey Bridge was rehabilitated in 2017 for 1.6 million dollars.

The Dorena Covered Bridge Is Stunning In Fall

Yellow and orange leaves next to the white Dorena covered bridge in fall.
Dorena Covered Bridge in Oregon. Photo by Ian Gwaltney via Flickr CC2.

The Dorena Covered bridge is a popular wedding site as the road ends at this bridge.  This pretty white bridge near Cottage Grove Oregon was built in 1949 and used to be known as the Star Bridge since it was the way into Star Ranch.

Yellow and orange leaves next to the white Dorena covered bridge in fall with fall leaves on the road.
Dorena Covered Bridge in Oregon. Photo by Ian Gwaltney via Flickr CC2.

The Dorena Bridge crosses the Row River and is a 105 feet long Covered Howe Truss.

The Wendling Covered Bridge Interior Was Once Papered With Circus Posters

Yellow and orange trees next to the white Wendling Covered Bridge in Oregon in Fall.
Wendling Covered Bridge in Oregon. Photo by Bruce Fingerhood via Flickr CC2.

The Wendling Covered Bridge is also known as Mill Creek Bridge (not to be confused with the massive green Mill Creek Bridge in Wasco County).  This bridge is 60 feet long and crosses Mill Creek.  Built in 1938, the interior of this bridge had huge circus posters pasted on the walls.  You can see a photo of one of these circus posters here.

These are our top six favorite covered bridges in Oregon to visit in the fall, but there are 50 covered bridges remaining in Oregon today (one of the largest concentrations of covered bridges in the west).  What’s your favorite covered bridge in Oregon?  Share your photos with us and tag the friends and family you want to go on a covered bridge road trip with!