Dotted around the northern regions of California are a handful of the oldest redwoods and giant sequoias in the world, reaching up to the skies like something out of Tolkien’s universe.
These colossal trees can grow to be over 300ft high and 3,000 years old. Over time, their trunks have become wide enough for enterprising locals to hollow out the middle to create incredible drive-through trees.
And what’s even more impressive about these otherworldly tunnels is that despite having their bases hollowed out, some of these trees continue to grow and thrive.
The first drive-through tree was created at Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park in 1875 to promote tourism according to Amusing Planet as visitors paid to pass under it. It was carved out of a 2,500-year-old giant sequoia that had been struck by lightning and later cut down and debarked.
In a trend that continues today, holidaymakers would pass through the incredible structures in their vintage cars. As time passed, more hollowed out trees were created and tourists were charged to drive through the tunnels.
Drive-through trees are no longer created today due to environmental concerns but holidaymakers can still enjoy the carefully preserved specimens, relics of another tourism age, in California’s national parks.