The Tunnel Tree

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

In follow-up to yesterday’s blog about Wawoma, today we chat about the giant trees. The Wawona Tunnel Tree became world-famous when an opening was cut through the tree in 1881. For the next 88 years, it was a star attraction as folks rode on stage coaches through the hole, then drove cars through it. Classic photos became captured the uniqueness of the tunnel tree. Over time the soil around the tree got soggy and high winds toppled it in the winter of 1968/1969. The fact that it had a huge hole it did not help its structural integrity. Seeing the remnants of the tree is not a major “must see”. It’s not that exciting laying crumbled and decaying. In fact, it’s hard to even make out the cut. It’s a pretty hefty hike from the parking lot and the rest of the Mariposa Grove. The photo below shows all that is left.

tunnel tree


On your way to it you can still walk through the California Tunnel Tree (carved out in 1895), near the Grizzly Giant. 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “I shall always be glad that I was in the Yosemite with John Muir.” – Theodore Roosevelt

*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


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