The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is a 175 foot tall coastal redwood tree that has an opening you can drive through. It measures 21 feet in diameter and is approximately 3,000 years old.
Also known as the Redwood Shrine Tree and the Shrine of the Redwoods, the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is a chimney tree whose trunk was originally hollowed out by fire more than a century ago. So unlike the other drive-through trees, this one was mostly created by Mother Nature and not cut by man.
The natural angled opening was later widened to create a 7.0 foot wide by 7.0 foot tall tunnel through the tree and when Avenue of the Giants was paved, the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree became one of the first roadside attractions along California’s new Redwood Highway.
We visited the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree in the early evening and there were only a few other vehicles in the park. We were excited to check out this drive-through tree because several places online said claimed to have driven their trucks and SUVs through the tree. Unfortunately, a sign posted by the entrance reads, “No large vans, SUVs, or pickups,” which means unlike the awesome Klamath Tour-Thru Tree, we weren’t able to drive through this redwood.
Instead we parked, walked through the tree, and watched people with smaller cars drive through the tree. After driving through the Klamath Tour-Thru Tree and visiting the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, I can honestly say that while the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is the oldest of the three drive-through coastal redwood trees along the Avenue of the Giants, it is the least awesome. The tree, which is now held up by steel cables, definitely needs some love and care.
Shrine Drive-Thru Tree Park
The drive-thru tree isn’t the only attraction at this family-owned park:
- Near a group of picnic tables are two awesome and super cute two-story playhouses carved into the trunks of giant coastal redwoods.
- The Walk-Thru Tree Stump gives kids the opportunity to mimic the cars driving through the Shrine of the Redwoods.
- The Drive-On Tree is a fallen giant that has been cut and located near a paved “on ramp” so you can drive into the tree trunk. Unfortunately, the Drive-On Tree is surrounded by chain link fencing, so you can’t get a good photo and it’s no where near as cool as it sounds.
- A small on-site gift shop sells trinkets and souvenirs.
Know Before You Go
- The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is located at 13078 Avenue of the Giants (State Route 254), Myers Flat, California 95554 in Humboldt County just four miles south of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.
- Shrine Drive-Thru Tree Park is open seasonally from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm and is closed in the winter. Check for hours before visiting.
- Admission costs $8.00/vehicle, $4.00/motorcycle, and $3.00/bicycle or walk-in.
- There is a sign posted by the entrance that reads, “No large vans, SUVs, or pickups.”
- There are picnic tables and restrooms available.
- The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is one of three massive drive-through redwood trees along California’s Avenue of the Giants. The other two are The Klamath Tour-Thru Tree and The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree.