Drive Through Nature’s Wonder: A Two-Thousand-Year-Old Redwood Tree With a Car-Sized Hollow Base

Scattered across the northern areas of California are a few of the most ancient redwoods and giant sequoias globally, towering upwards like a scene from Tolkien’s fictional world.

The gigantic trees have the ability to reach heights of up to 300ft and live for as long as 3,000 years. As a result of their extensive growth, locals have discovered innovative ways to utilize them by carving out the center to make magnificent drive-through trees.

It is truly mesmerizing how some trees have been transformed into tunnels without losing their growth and vitality. The concept of drive-through trees dates back to 1875 when the first one was created in Yosemite National Park, at Tuolumne Grove. This was done to increase tourism, and visitors were charged to drive through it. The tree was carved out of a 2,500-year-old giant sequoia which had been struck by lightning and was later cut down and stripped of its bark. Over time, more of these hollowed-out trees were created and tourists in their vintage cars paid to pass through them. However, the practice of creating drive-through trees has stopped due to environmental concerns. Though, tourists can still admire these preserved wonders in California’s national parks which serve as relics of a bygone era of tourism.

In 1875, to encourage tourism, the Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park introduced the very first drive-through tree.

The Shire drive-through tree in Myers Flat has a naturally formed angled opening that’s now being supported by cables.

Captured during the 1930s, this photograph features a vehicle cruising through the Wawona tree situated in Mariposa Grove of Yosemite National Park.

For over a century, drive-through trees have been a popular attraction for tourists. A fascinating historical image captured in 1880 showcases a horse-drawn cart passing through the Wawona tree. In contrast, a photograph from 1923 shows a car driving through the same tunnel.

The Wawona tree was a famous natural wonder that many people knew about. A photograph taken of President Theodore Roosevelt driving through the tree’s tunnel has been updated on the left, while a picture of a man standing beneath the massive tunnel in 1890 is on the right.

The Fallen Tunnel Tree, formerly known as the Wawona Tree, toppled over during a severe storm in 1969 and can now be seen in updated photos on the left and right.

Located in Leggett, a little over 180 miles north of San Francisco Bay Area, the Chandelier tree is situated in a grove that is privately owned. This magnificent tree has an enormous tunnel that was created back in 1937.

The Chandelier tree, which is around 2,400 years old, received its name due to the way its branches are believed to dangle like chandeliers, as seen in the images on the left and right.

The Tuolumne Grove’s tree has become quite popular among tourists, leading other business owners to follow suit and carve out similar trees.

A fresh picture of the Wawona tree exhibits a group of curious tourists gathering around as they eagerly await their turn to drive through the tunnel carved out of its massive trunk. Each car passes through one by one, creating a unique and memorable experience for all those who witness it.
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