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1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge

This past October I visited the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge within Sierra National Forest of Fresno County, California.   The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge is the only Bowstring Arch Truss Bridge in California.

The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge is located about 13 miles east of California State Route 168 in Shaver via Dinkey Creek Road and Old McKinley Grove Road.  The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge is located over it's namesake creek within Sierra National Forest near the McKinley Redwood Sequoia Grove.  

My approach to the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge was via CA 168 eastbound.  CA 168 east meets Dinkey Creek Road in central Shaver Lake.  The community of Dinkey Creek is signed as 13 miles east of CA 168 via Dinkey Creek Road.

Dinkey Creek Road quickly leaves Shaver Lake for the recreational lands of Sierra National Forest.  Despite being a major highway through Sierra National Forest, Dinkey Creek Road is maintained by Fresno County.  A couple miles east of Shaver Lake the route of Dinkey Creek Road passes by Camp Chawanakee.

Dinkey Creek Road eastbound next passes by Swanson Meadow Campground.

Dinkey Creek Road is largely aligned on terrain 6,000 feet above sea level or higher.  Near the Glen Meadow Work Center the route of Dinkey Creek Road eastbound accesses the Dinkey Off Highway Vehicle Area.

From the Dinkey OHV area the community of Dinkey Creek is located 3 miles to the east on Dinkey Creek Road.

Dinkey Creek Road descends downhill where it meets McKinley Grove Road in Dinkey Creek.

Dinkey Creek is a former sawmill community which essentially exists now to cater recreation opportunities at the namesake creek.   There was a large logging operation at Dinkey Creek operated by the Pine Logging Company from 1937 through 1979.   The community of Dinkey Creek can be seen on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County at the eastern terminus of Dinkey Creek Road.

Dinkey Creek Road crosses Glen Meadow Creek at 5,680 feet above sea level within Dinkey Creek.

Next to the Dinkey Creek Inn the route of Dinkey Creek Road finally intersects Old McKinley Grove Road.

Old McKinley Grove Road descends eastbound to the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge.

There is a plaque on the western flank of the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge.

The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge as noted above is the only Bowstring Arch Truss structure in California.  The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge was largely built to encourage tourism to the McKinley Redwood Sequoia Grove and interior of Sierra National Forest.  The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge was replaced by a new structure in 1956 to downstream to facilitate construction of the Wishon and Courtright Reservoirs. The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge was closed automotive traffic in 1965 and was restored in 1988. The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. The namesake Dinkey Creek is named after a dog during the California Gold Rush in 1863 which attempted to fight a grizzly bear and lost.  The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge is 92 feet long, this photo below was taken in Dinkey Creek facing the northward.

Below the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge is crossed headed eastbound on Old McKinley Grove Road.

The 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge from Old McKinley Grove and Dinkey Creek.

Old McKinley Grove Road is now Forest Roads 10S008 and 10S453.   There are faint traces of asphalt on the FR10S453 section of Old McKinley Grove Road.

The photos below are of Old McKinley Grove headed west over the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge.

After walking across the 1938 Dinkey Creek Bridge I returned south to McKinley Grove Road and crossed the 1956 replacement structure.  McKinley Grove Road is Forest Road 11S040 and was once signed as Forest Route 40.  McKinley Grove Road meets the opposite side of Old McKinley Grove Road upon crossing the 1956 Dinkey Creek Bridge.


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