Just about everybody who visits California’s giant Sequoia forests wants to do just one thing: drive through one. Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park’s drive-thru tree, might not be exactly what you’re expecting, but it still gives you the chance to squeeze your car through the trunk of a giant tree.
To access Moro Rock, Hanging Rock, Crescent Meadow, and the Tunnel Log, turn off Generals Highway at the Giant Forest Museum. The side road to all of these attractions begins next to the museum. Follow this road to the end for Crescent Meadow, or take the turnoff onto the loop for Moro Rock and Hanging Rock.
Sequoia National Park’s drive-thru tree is horizontal. It’s dead. But it’s still fun. This tree fell across Crescent Meadow Road in 1937, the park says, due to natural causes. It was probably about 2,000 years old at the time. The park carved a tunnel through the tree, and a tourist attraction was born.
Sequoia National Park’s Drive-thru Tree
Tunnel Log has a passage that’s 17 feet wide and 8 feet tall. That should be big enough for most SUV’s and almost any car. If you’re driving something bigger, you can use the bypass route around the tree. As far as I know, there’s no one-way rule here — you can drive either direction through the log, but on the day I visited, everyone passing through the tunnel was driving away from Crescent Meadow.
There’s plenty of space near the log to pull over and take some pictures. You could probably even climb up on top of it and watch cars pass below your feet.
If you’re bummed out that Sequoia National Park’s drive-thru tree is dead and lying on its side, don’t worry. There is at least one vertical drive-thru tree in California. But, it’s about 450 miles away, in the Redwoods of northern California. You can check out that drive-through tree here. And as it turns out, Yosemite National Park used to have one, but it fell over in 1969.
Here’s a look at the drive south on Generals Highway to the Giant Forest Museum…
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… and through the Tunnel Log to Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock:
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The Bottom Line
Sequoia National Park’s drive-thru tree is conveniently located on the way to several of the park’s other big attractions. It’s definitely worth seeing and driving through when you’re visiting the park.