I turned another year old last month and I celebrated not with gifts and cakes but a nice long drive into some Redwoods. My birthday wish was to go see some redwood trees and having been to Roaring Camp and Big Basin earlier, we chose to drive north this time. Our POIs included a drive thru tree, a house in a tree trunk and a redwood totem pole.
As we left the San Francisco Bay area, we took US 101 and drove all the way north till we hit the junction of 101 and Highway 1.
Leggett is the name of the place where the famous CA 1 — Californians prefer to simply call it Highway 1 — (the highway that runs through California’s Pacific coast) begins. Leggett might be a very small town but it is famous not just because it is the meeting place of two major highways. It is also the home of a well-known tree called the Chandelier Tree and a Totem Pole that is said to be the largest free standing totem pole.
The Chandelier Tree was our main attraction for the day. This Redwood tree is a tall tree with a tunnel that allows a vehicle the size of an SUV drive through it. For those who are not familiar with Redwood Trees, this variety of trees also known as the Coast Redwood is among the biggest trees in the world and can be found on the west coast of the United States. It is also considered to be California’s State Tree.
This redwood tree in Legget, California, which is called the Chandelier Tree is around 315 feet tall and boasts of a diameter of 21 feet. The tunnel I mentioned earlier was hewn out in the 1930s and is almost 7 ft high and 6 ft wide.
Now that is a tunnel that everyone wants to try driving through. When we got to the park it was already afternoon and the mercury had risen to 105 (degree Fahrenheit) and there weren’t too many cars waiting to drive through. By the time we walked around, stepped into the souvenir store and picked up some ice cream, there was a long line of cars waiting to go through the famous drive-through-tree and take a few pictures, maybe.
|A car (left ) and an SUV (right) make their way through the Chandelier Tree|
This tree lends the park in which it stands, its name – Drive-Thru Tree Park. I wondered why the tree was called Chandelier Tree and why not simply the ‘drive-through tree’. They say it is because the branches of the tree give it a Chandelier-like look. Now, to see that, you’ll have to stand on your head and look up at the tree (or take a picture of it and hold it upside down). 🙂
|Does it look like a chandelier now?|
Directions Some navigation systems may not show ‘Drive Thru Tree Road’ so if you are driving from the SF Bay Area or Southern California, take 101 North all the way up till you reach the place where CA 1 joins 101. Take a left on to Highway 1, take the Drive-thru Tree Road exit on the left (You’ll see the board which says Welcome to Legget.) The Drive-thru Tree park is 2 miles down the road on the right.
Note The ‘Welcome to Legget’ board also marks a Restaurant and Market but both places were locked and barred when we visited. Moreover it looked like they had been shut down for quite a long time. So you might want to carry your own food. (You’ll find ice-cream at the gift shop) There are picnic tables and restrooms in the park.