The Shrine Tree is a chimney tree, hollowed out by fire more than 100 years ago. A tunnel through the tree resulted from the fire, and has since been widened, allowing vehicles to drive through. There is a small admission fee and a gift shop, as well as several other sights, including the Drive On Tree, Tree House Village, and Cathedral Tree.
The tree is open 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily, but may be closed during winter or bad weather. Call ahead for seasonal hours, entrance fees, and other information: 707-943-1975
Pulling into the parking lot you will see a building that resembles something that belongs in the alps. The building itself is somewhat remarkable if you were to understand that at one point it was completely submerged under water, during the flood in 1964! It is a testimony to the fortitude of the Redwoods and the people that reside there.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the owner, Mr. JR. Allmon. Over time there have been additions to the building but the main structure was built of redwood and because of that it was able to withstand the flood of 1964. While the cabins were washed away the main building remained. This is the gift shop. Off to the side of the gift shop you are able to drive your car around to the Shrine Tree. According to Mr. Allmon the Shrine Tree was the first attraction on the avenue. I have to admit I love the Shrine Tree. It was my first experience driving through a tree and it was magical for me. It was a lovely setting and I was in awe of its size and natural beauty. The Shrine Tree is a natural opening and is still growing!
There is a drive on log and a small area with two little tree houses that are great photo opportunities and are sure to cause laughs when you step inside! Be sure to see the Cathedral Tree as well.
J.R. spoke with such a passion about his home and with such knowledge about the area. It is one of the things you will find about the area that brings you back time and time again.