When we realized that we were going to pass three different drive-through redwood trees on our summer road trip to Crater Lake National Park and Redwood National and State Parks — The Klamath Tour-Thru Tree, The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, and The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree — we all agreed that all three were going on our list of things to do. I mean seriously, how can you pass up the opportunity to drive through a living redwood tree?!
The Tour-Thru Tree, a giant redwood tree you can drive your own personal vehicle through, sits at the northern end of California’s Redwood Country, just off Highway 101 near Klamath, California along the Klamath River.
At only $5.00 per vehicle, you’d be nuts to skip this roadside attraction at the northern end of California’s Redwood Country.
We arrived in the late afternoon and there were only a couple other vehicles in line ahead of us so we didn’t have to wait too long for our turn. I guess we were lucky because apparently, the line can get really long. The line also moves really slow because people are not only nervous about driving through the giant redwood, but every carload of people wants to get photos of their vehicle in the tree. We actually watched each person in the car in front of take turns in the driver’s seat!
When it was our turn, I got out to snap photos and Natalie and Carter climbed into the front seat. Brian folded in his mirrors and carefully inched the Adventure Truck through the opening. It’s a pretty awesome experience…
The Klamath Tour-Thru Tree measures 17 feet in diameter at eye level, stands about 90 feet tall to the point where the top was blown off, and is approximately 785 years old. The opening you can drive through is 7.4 feet wide and 9.6 feel tall, permitting the passage of almost all standard size vehicles and pickups.
Because of its giant size, the Tour-Thru Tree, along with several of the surrounding trees, were was spared when the area was logged in 1967. The tunnel through the tree was completed in May 1976 and opened to the public one month later. Thankfully, the people who cut the tunnel through the redwood tree were able to avoid critical areas of living wood to maintain the overall health of the tree.
Before heading to our next destination, we stopped in the gift shop to scout for key chains and Christmas ornaments, and of course we couldn’t leave without checking out the bathroom built inside a redwood tree! Super funny!
Know Before You Go
- The Klamath Tour-Thru Tree is located at 430 CA Route 169, Klamath, California 95548 in Del Norte County just a quarter mile off Highway 101.
- The entrance is located across the street from the Gas 4 Less station and Log Cabin Diner at the north end of the Klamath River Bridge.
- The Tour-Thru Tree is a privately-owned roadside attraction that is open year-round during daylight hours.
- Visiting the Tour-Thru Tree costs $5.00/vehicle. If the entrance/toll building is closed, there is a spot to make your payment. Please use the honor system.
- There is a small Gift Shop inside the toll building featuring redwood and novelty souvenirs, postcards, and more.
- Need to use the restroom? Check out the one-of-a-kind restroom built into a section of an 8.0 foot diameter redwood tree near the toll building.
- Picnic tables are available near the tool building and near the Tour-Thru Tree.
- Because of the steep grade, a sharp curve, and limited parking at the tree site, large trailers and RVs are prohibited past the parking area at the toll station.
- Our truck barely fit with the mirrors folded in! If you can, bring your smallest vehicle for the drive through a redwood tree.
- If you have time, walk across the road to see emus, large Australian ﬂightless birds.
- The Klamath Tour-Thru Tree is one of three giant redwood trees you can drive through. The other two are the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, and the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree.