Traveling throughout the northern regions of California, you’ll discover a selection of the most ancient redwoods and giant sequoias on earth. These towering giants seem to stretch endlessly towards the sky, resembling something you’d find in a Tolkien novel.
These gigantic trees have the potential to reach heights exceeding 300ft and survive for up to 3,000 years. With time, their trunks have expanded to such an extent that the ingenious locals have managed to create awe-inspiring drive-through trees by carving out the center.
These remarkable tunnels carved out of trees are truly otherworldly, and what’s even more remarkable is that some of them still manage to grow and thrive despite having their bases hollowed out. The very first drive-through tree was built in Yosemite National Park’s Tuolumne Grove back in 1875 as a way to attract tourists who would pay to pass under it. This particular tree was a giant sequoia that had been struck by lightning, cut down, and debarked. As time went on, more and more hollowed-out trees were created, and tourists would pay to drive through these amazing structures in their vintage cars. While drive-through trees are no longer created today due to environmental concerns, visitors can still enjoy the carefully preserved specimens of this tourism age in California’s national parks.
In 1875, the Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park introduced the first-ever drive-through tree to boost tourism.
The Shire drive-through tree in Myer’s Flat has a unique angled opening that many believe occurred naturally. However, to ensure its safety and stability, the tree now requires cables for support.
Captured in the 1930s, the image depicted above displays a vehicle cruising through the Wawona tree situated in Mariposa Grove of Yosemite National Park.
Drive-through trees have been around for over a century. A vintage photograph from 1880 captures a horse-drawn cart passing through the Wawona tree, while a more recent image from 1923 depicts a car going through the same tunnel.
The Wawona tree was a famous landmark that many people knew about. A photo on the left shows President Theodore Roosevelt driving through the tree’s tunnel, while a photo on the right captures a man standing underneath the massive structure in 1890.
Back in 1969, the Wawona Tree (shown in recently updated pictures on the left and right) was knocked over by a strong storm in the area. Nowadays, people refer to it as the Fallen Tunnel Tree.
The privately-owned grove in Leggett, located approximately 180 miles north of San Francisco Bay Area, houses the Chandelier tree. This magnificent tree boasts of an enormous tunnel that was expertly carved back in 1937.
The Chandelier tree, which is 2,400 years old, got its name because its branches appear to hang like chandeliers, as seen in the accompanying photos.
The tree located at Tuolumne Grove turned out to be quite a hit, attracting many visitors. As a result, other business-minded individuals saw the potential and began carving out trees in a similar fashion.
A recent photo of the Wawona tree depicts a group of visitors eagerly anticipating their turn to drive through the tunnel created by the iconic tree. The image captures the essence of the popularity and allure of this natural wonder. Photo credit goes to Pinterest and the source is Natural Wonders.