Chandelier Tree – Leggett, California - Atlas Obscura
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Leggett, California

Chandelier Tree

This massive redwood tree has a hole in the base big enough to drive through. 

A 300-foot-tall marvel, the Chandelier Tree in Leggett, California, has a hole cut in its immense trunk that’s large enough for a car to drive through.

The hole is six feet wide and nearly seven feet tall, carved sometime in the 1930s. Miraculously, this tree is so big and strong that is has survived the gaping wound in its base.

The Chandelier Tree—which was named not after its massive girth, but its dangling limbs that resemble a chandelier—was carved during the unfortunate “tunnel tree” trend of the early 20th century. Several giant sequoias had large holes cut out of their trunks to attract the growing number of automobile tourists, with little regard for the health of the great trees.

Luckily, environmentalists now work to make sure that no new holes are cut into redwood trees, so the few drive-thru trees that remain are precious and fairly rare. While some of the tunnel trees did not survive their maiming, the Chandelier Tree still stands today, attracting visitors decades later. The shape and style of the cars that pass through its trunk have changed considerably over the years, but the novel delight of driving through the middle of a tree is just as it ever was.

Know Before You Go

Leggett is just shy of midway between the Canadian and Mexican borders, located off the main artery of US Highway 101. The Chandelier Tree has a gift shop and a picnic area nearby for visitors.