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The Sundial Bridge

sundial bridge in redding ca

I have put together this complete guide of everything that you will want to know when visiting the popular Sundial Bridge. 

The Sundial Bridge is one of the two bridges in the U.S. designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava.

It’s a pedestrian only bridge and is unique in the fact that it’s can actual sundial (they say it’s one of the world’s largest sundials).

The bridge is over 700 feet and crosses the Sacramento River. The part of the bridge that you walk over is actual made out of frosted glass. They even light it up at night and the glass glows.

The bridge was completed in 2004 at the cost of $23,500,000 and has become a popular attraction in Redding California. 


Location: 844 Sundial Bridge Dr. Redding, CA 96001 

Cost: FREE

Parking: FREE

Hours: Open to public from 6:00 am to 12 midnight daily 

How was the bridge build?  

While The Sundial Bridge crosses the Sacramento river it doesn’t touch any part of the river.

It was designed like this to protect the sensitive salmon-spawning habitat below.

The steel portions of the bridge were constructed at a steel yard in Vancouver, Washington and transported to Redding, CA in 40 ft sections.  

The large cables that are use for the bridge total 4,342 feet and were made in England.

At each end of the bridge is a plaza area that feature broken white tiles from Spain.

The glass blocks on the bridge are from Quebec and they glow at night. 


The bridge is located right near downtown Redding, CA. The bridge is in a public gardena area.

It’s also located right next to the newly build Sheraton Hotel, Mosaic Restaurant, and Turtle Bay Museum. 

The Sundial bridge walkway ties into the popular Sacramento River Trail that runs 35 miles through the city of Redding. 

The river trail is a popular spot for walking, biking, and families. Many people ride bikes and walk across the bridge to access the river trail.

Once you cross the bridge you can continue on and walk part of the trail or you can check out the botanical gardens

The Sundial Bridge in Redding California has become a popular attraction for locals and people around the world.

You will find that the bridge does get busy at certain times of the day.

If you want to beat the crowds go early in the morning or later at night.

Sometimes they even have vendors that sell shaved ice and musicians playing music.

It’s just a really nice relaxing place to hang out and enjoy the bridge. 

The address to the bridge is 844 Sundial Bridge Dr. Redding, CA 96001 and its right of a main road.

Once you get close you will see a sign with arrows directing you toward the bridge. 

entrance to sundial bridge sign

You will see a parking area to the left. The parking is free.

If you go during a busy time of year the parking lot might be full but if you keep driving past the parking area there is additional parking in a gravel lot to the left. 

Once you park you will see a big entrance sign that says Welcome to Turtle Bay. 

turtle bay exploration park sundial entrance

Walk under this sign and it will take you right to the bride. The bridge is just a short distance from the parking area.

You can walk down a small dirt path to see the bridge from below or you can walk across the bridge. 

Once you get to the other side of the bridge you will see the entrance to the botanical gardens on the left as well as the river trail.

If you walk to the right and down toward the river you can go underneath the bridge. 

underneath the sundial bridge
view of sundial bridge from sacramento river

Other Attractions

After you are done exploring the Sundial bridge then you can check out the Sacramento River Trail.

You will also see at the entrance to the bridge the Turtle Bay Museum. There is an attached coffee shop too.

The museum is really neat. They have animals, exhibits, and a ton of activities for children. 

turtle bay museum by the bridge

There is a large playground area, a place where you can feed birds, a daily animal show and a much more.

While the Sundial bridge is free it does cost to get into the museum. 

Nearby Hotels

If you are wanting to stay as close as possible then you should check out the beautiful Sheraton Hotel.

It’s right next to the Sundial Bridge walking distance away.

sheraton hotel by the bridge

It will make visiting the bridge easy. Also, they have an attached restaurant called the Mosaic

mosaic restaurant by the sundial

Normally the bridge is just lit up with a white light. For special events they will sometimes change the color of the bridge lights.

One of the most popular traditions at the Sundial is the Redding Garden of Lights. For this holiday light display they light up the bridge in red and green.

You can see in my photos that the lights are blue.

bridge lit up blue

They are blue to honor all the frontline workers. In the month of October the bridge is lit pink to promote breast cancer awareness.

Anytime that you visit the bridge its beautiful. If you stay in the area I recommend that you come back and see the bridge at night too.

It’s a completely different experience than in the day.

If you are looking for more information about Redding CA, check out these posts: 

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