One Of California’s Last “Drive Thru” Redwoods Has Fallen!

calaveras-big-trees-state

An Iconic Northern California Tourist Destination Has Toppled…

You’ve no doubt seen this: the ancient Redwood tree so big that you can walk through it…you can find many pictures of this unique redwood tree online…

calaveras state park redwood tree falls

This Redwood is located in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and it fell during a powerful storm that hit Northern California this past weekend – this tree was was 150 feet tall and had a 33-foot diameter.

As The Modesto Bee reports:

“This iconic and still living tree – the tunnel tree – enchanted many visitors,” reads a post on the Facebook page of the Calaveras Big Trees Association. “The storm was just too much for it.”

Here is the picture they posted of the downed tree:

calaveras-big-tree-association

The giant sequoia was originally hollowed out in the 1880s as a tourist stunt, since it allowed people to walk “thru” the tree.

And The Los Angeles Times reports:

“The tree, named for the tunnel that had been carved into its broad base 137 years ago, was located in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park and toppled Sunday.

“We lost an old friend today,” wrote county resident Jim Allday, who posted a picture of the fallen titan on his Facebook page.

His photos show the tree trunk splintered heavily at its base.
Visitors could once drive through the tree, but it was most recently open only to hikers along a 1.5-mile loop.”

This is sad news, but know that there is still a Redwood standing in Northern California that offers the same unique viewpoint:

walk-thru-redwood-northern-california

My wife Alex and I drove down the Oregon coast and through Northern California’s incredible Redwood forest on highway 101…

northern-california-redwood-forest

n-california-drive-thru-tree

The Chandelier Tree Lives!

At first, I thought that the “drive thru” tree that we experienced, called The Chandelier, was the tree that had fallen…

walk-thru-redwood-northern-california

Luckily, this tree is still standing, located in another part of Northern California…so if you’ve ever wanted to see a unique tree like this, now is your chance! The Chandelier Tree was opened in 1937, and can still be visited today.

alex-duda-john-rieber-chandelier-tree

The state of California has long since stopped the practice of carving roads through these magnificent trees, but there are still two remaining….it was all part of an incredible adventure we had down the Pacific coastline of Oregon:

Cannon Beach Oregon

If you’ve never had the chance to discover the west coast of the US, it’s really magical…you can see our entire trip down the incredibly beautiful Oregon coast here:


https://johnrieber.com/2015/03/14/oregons-coast-amazing-views-majestic-sunsets-whales-drive-thru-trees/

Sad news about the Redwood in Calaveras Big Tree State Park, and happy to know that two others still survive…

california-chandelier-drive-thru-tree



Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Memoirs, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized

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13 replies

  1. There are a couple more of these trees. Scroll down to the bottom of the article and it will list the other two besides the Chandelier tree: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-california-bucket-list-updates-drive-through-this-redwood-while-you-1481314119-htmlstory.html

    • Thanks for sharing! Many people have said they don’t like these trees being carved up, but it happened so long ago, might as well appreciate them now while we can, no others will be done this way!

  2. Very interesting post. Very sad that tree is lost. A question that comes to mind is why not do it a few more trees for the future. Only a couple, don’t go nuts. No longer ethical?

    • Lloyd, it was an idea way back in the old days – a way to get tourism to an area that was much more remote at the time…it was outlawed soon after, so these last few are all we have…however, they are privately owned so there is a much more rigorous effort to protect them…they are absolutely massive! Oh, the one my wife and I visited is right in the area where a LOT of pot farms are hidden in the hills!

  3. NOO! I’m sorry to hear this. We better get to the Chandler Tree soon!

  4. Just as well that they no longer carve tunnels through them, John. They are magnificent enough to admire as they are, without have to walk under them too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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