|Height:||282.00+ ft||(85.95+ m)||Elevation:||994 ft (303 m)||GPS Latitude:||39.85832|
|Volume:||River:||South Fork Eel River||GPS Longitude:||-123.71950|
|Width:||17.25 ft||(5.26 m)||Grove:||Drive-Thru Tree Memorial Grove||Discovery Date:|
|Age:||Park:||Drive-Thru Tree Park||Discovered By:|
Notes: Chandelier, also known as Drive-Thru Tree and Major Hendricks Tree, is located at 67402 Drive-Thru Tree Road in Leggett, California 1.0 mi (1.6 km) south of the northern terminus of California
State Route 1 at U.S. Highway 101. Chandelier was so named because it resembles an upside down chandelier with
enormous branches balanced on each side of the trunk. These limbs, which measure from 4.0
to 7.0 ft (1.2 to 2.1 m) in diameter, emerge from the main trunk approximately 100 ft (30.5 m) above ground.
In 1922, dairy farmers Charles and Hazel Underwood purchased Coolidge Redwood Park, a 0.48 mi2 (1.24 km2) tract of old growth coast redwood forest located along the South Fork of the Eel River near Leggett, which had already been developed as a private, roadside resort. The park, soon renamed Underwood Park and later Drive-Thru Tree Park, included cabins, a campground, and two noteworthy coast redwoods: Coolidge Tree (the first coast redwood tunnel tree, named to honor United States Army Colonel John Coolidge, father of United States President Calvin Coolidge) and Major Hendricks Tree (named to honor United States Army Major Isaac C. Hendricks). Tunneled sometime between 1910 and 1915, Coolidge Tree was already a popular Redwood Highway attraction through which park visitors drove automobiles for just 25 cents (less than $8 today adjusted for inflation) per vehicle.
Unfortunately, the health of Coolidge Tree deteriorated after the Underwoods enlarged the tunnel in 1925 to accommodate larger vehicles. In 1937, fearing the ailing redwood might topple, they hired woodsmen to cut it down and to carve a 6 ft (1.8 m) wide, 6.75 ft (2.1 m) tall, and 11.5 ft (3.5 m) long tunnel through the trunk of a larger redwood, Major Hendricks Tree (soon renamed Chandelier Tree), to serve as a suitable replacement. By the 1960s, Underwood Drive-Thru Tree Park included twenty cabins, a recreation hall, a soda fountain, and even a bar. Although the park no longer offers lodging or camping, it still provides hiking trails, a large meadow, a duck pond, picnic tables, restrooms, a gift shop, and, of course, the famous drive-through redwood.
Chandelier is 33 ft (10 m) shorter, 3.8 ft (1.1 m) narrower, and at least 47 years younger than the sign indicates: 315 ft (96 m), 21 ft (6.4 m), and 2,400 y respectively. The oldest known living coast redwood, which grows in Orion Grove in Redwood National Park, is 2,353 years old.
A vintage postcard of Chandelier appears in the title sequence of National Lampoon's Vacation. A videographer published an aerial flyover of Chandelier. Chandelier is directly in the path of the August 12, 2045 total solar eclipse.
Chandelier is the most-popular of the three drive-through coast redwoods: as many as 500 vehicles visit the tree each day during summer. Drive-Thru Tree Park is open year-round (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 8:30 a.m. until dusk. Call 707-925-6464 or visit drivethrutree.com for seasonal hours, current entrance fees, and more information.
Drive: Chandelier is 160 mi (257 km) north of San Francisco in the community of Leggett.
From U.S. Highway 101, exit at California State Route 1 near the community of Leggett. Drive west 325 ft (99 m) on California State Route 1 to California State Route 271. Turn left and drive south 0.6 mi (1.0 km) on California State Route 271 to Drive-Thru Tree Road. Turn right and drive 0.4 mi (0.6 km) south on Drive-Thru Tree Road, past the Drive-Thru Tree Park entrance station (entrance fee required), to Chandelier.
View Chandelier Tree location in Google Maps
Photos: Pictures of Chandelier Tree taken from different sides