A panoramic photo of the Sundial Bridge over the Sacramento River at sunset in Redding, California
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Sundial Bridge

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The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay in Redding, California

Spanning the Sacramento River, the Sundial Bridge in Redding is a one-of-a-kind pedestrian bridge and iconic public art installation. It connects the north and south campuses of Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

 

A south-facing aerial view of the Sundial Bridge with a pink and purple cloudy sky

The Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA | Photo Credit: Nolan Erickson

 

A Bridge That’s Also a Working Sundial

 

As the name suggests, the Sundial Bridge functions as a working sundial. The 217-foot tall mast casts a shadow on the ground, indicating the time. The shadow moves about one foot per minute, allowing you to see time progress.

 

The bridge’s alignment creates the sundial, celebrating human creativity and ingenuity. It also intentionally avoids the nearby salmon habitat, with no supports in the water.

 

The Calatrava Sundial Bridge: Stunning and Innovative Design

 

Designed by Santiago Calatrava, a world-renowned Spanish architect, the bridge has a translucent glass deck giving a feeling of floating above the river. The steel structure is stabilized by cables and a truss resting on concrete foundations.

 

At night, the Sundial Bridge is illuminated from below with changing LED lights, creating a breathtaking sight along the river.

 

The Sundial Bridge at night with red and green lights during the Garden of Lights

The Sundial Bridge @ Redding Garden of Lights | PC: Betty Roni

 

Vital Connection and Sacramento River Trail Access

 

Opened on July 4, 2004, the Sundial Bridge crosses the Sacramento River, linking both sides of Turtle Bay Exploration Park and providing walkable access to the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

 

It also serves as an entrance to Redding’s extensive Sacramento River Trail system.

 

Access to the bridge and trails are free and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Impressive Construction and Sundial Bridge Statistics

 

With 580 tons of steel in the pylon, 200 tons of glass and granite in the decking, and over 4,000 feet of cable, the Sundial Bridge is an engineering marvel.

 

The structure weighs 1,600 tons supported on foundations containing 115 tons of steel and 1,900 cubic yards of concrete. It took intricate coordination to transport the pre-fabricated pieces to the site.

 

Drone shot of the Sundial Bridge and McConnell Arboretum

The Sundial Bridge & McConnell Arboretum | PC: Nolan Erickson

 

An Icon Symbolizing Redding’s Spirit

 

In nearly 20 years, the Sundial Bridge has become one of Redding’s most iconic landmarks. It attracts tourists while representing the city’s vibrant community and natural beauty.

 

Redding will celebrate the bridge’s 20th anniversary on July 4th, 2024. The Sundial Bridge commemorates human ingenuity and connects people to the river’s resources.

 

Planning Your Visit

 

The Sundial Bridge is open 24/7 and free to walk across.

 

Stay at the nearby Sheraton Redding Hotel and enjoy amenities like their outdoor pool. Fuel up at the hotel’s Mosaic Restaurant or Branch House Riverfront Bistro before heading to the bridge.

 

Stroll across the bridge for gorgeous views day or night. Take Sundial bridge photos and admire the architecture. Then continue exploring Redding’s extensive Sacramento River Trail network.

 

The Sundial Bridge is located off Highway 44, north of the Redding Civic Auditorium and west of the Sheraton Redding Hotel. The Sundial Bridge parking lot sits adjacent to the hotel.

 

A photo of the Sundial Bridge with an orange sunset in Redding, CA

The Sundial Bridge at Sunset | Photo Credit: Nolan Erickson

 

Sundial Bridge FAQ

 

How much does it cost to go to the Sundial Bridge?

 

There is no cost to access or walk across the Sundial Bridge. Entry is completely free.

 

What are the Sundial Bridge hours?

 

The Sundial Bridge is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

How does the Redding Sundial Bridge work?

 

The bridge’s 217-foot tall support tower points due north at an angle, allowing it to work as a giant sundial.

 

The tower casts a shadow onto a large dial placed north of the bridge.

 

On the summer solstice, the shadow aligns precisely to show the accurate time.

 

As the Earth rotates, the tip of the shadow moves about one foot per minute, allowing you to observe this motion.

 

How long is the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA?

 

The bridge spans 710 feet long across the Sacramento River.

 

Unlike traditional bridges, it does not have footings in the water underneath the bridge.

 

Instead, its surface consists of translucent glass panels that do not cast shadows on the water, protecting the delicate ecosystem and salmon habitat below.

 

How long does it take to walk across the Sundial Bridge?

 

At a leisurely walking pace, stopping to admire the views, it takes approximately 15 minutes to walk the full length of the bridge.

 

Allow extra time if you plan to stop frequently for Sundial Bridge photos or to observe wildlife along the river.

 

Can you walk on the Sundial Bridge?

 

Yes, the Sundial Bridge is designed specifically as a pedestrian bridge. It connects the north and south sides of Turtle Bay Exploration Park, providing access across the river.

 

Does the Sundial Bridge light up at night?

 

Yes, one of the bridge’s stunning features is that it is beautifully illuminated from underneath at night by constantly changing LED lights.

 

The Sundial Bridge a night is a beautiful sight to see, particularly when the bridge is lit up with pink lights in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with green and red lights during the holiday season. This creates a colorful glow across the span.

 

Are there hotels near the Sundial Bridge in Redding?

 

Yes, the Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge is a short walk from the bridge and the only 4-star hotel in Redding and is also dog-friendly. Other nearby Redding hotels are a short drive or bike ride away.

 

Can dogs walk on Sundial Bridge?

 

Leashed pets are allowed to walk across the bridge and surrounding trails. Pet waste bags are provided for use at the parking lot area.

 

The Branch House Riverfront Bistro and Mosaic Restaurant – located steps from the Sundial Bridge – are both dog-friendly Redding restaurants.

 

How old is the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California?

 

The iconic Sundial Bridge will celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 4th, 2024. It first opened in 2004.

 

What are directions to the Sundial Bridge?


From the North (via Interstate 5 South):

  • Head south on Interstate 5 (I-5) South.
  • Take Exit 678 for CA-44 West toward Downtown/Convention Center.
  • Merge onto CA-44 West/Eureka Way.
  • Continue on CA-44 West for several miles.
  • Follow the signs for Sundial Bridge/Redding Convention Center.
  • The Sundial Bridge is located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Follow signs for parking and access to the bridge.

 

From the South (via Interstate 5 North):

  • Head north on Interstate 5 (I-5) North.
  • Take Exit 675 for CA-44 West toward Downtown/Convention Center.
  • Merge onto CA-44 West/Eureka Way.
  • Continue on CA-44 West for several miles.
  • Follow the signs for Sundial Bridge/Redding Convention Center.
  • The Sundial Bridge is located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Follow signs for parking and access to the bridge.

 

From the East (via CA-44 West):

  • If you’re coming from the east, you may already be on CA-44 West.
  • Continue on CA-44 West.
  • Follow the signs for Sundial Bridge/Redding Convention Center.
  • The Sundial Bridge is located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Follow signs for parking and access to the bridge.

 

From the West (via CA-299 East):

  • If you’re coming from the west, you may already be on CA-299 East.
  • Continue on CA-299 East as it merges into CA-44 East.
  • Follow the signs for Sundial Bridge/Redding Convention Center.
  • The Sundial Bridge is located in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Follow signs for parking and access to the bridge.

 

Please note that road conditions and traffic can vary, so it’s a good idea to check a navigation app or GPS for real-time directions and updates before your trip.

 

 

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