Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch on Route 66

Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is a perfect example of why I started this blog. It encompasses one mans’ passion for creating something unique which lead to my passion for finding, documenting and photographing these things for others to enjoy.

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Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is literally a forest of bottle trees (large metal pipes with bottles hanging from them), located along the Mother Road, Route 66, right in the heart of the California desert. But I don’t need to tell you the history of this place, let Elmer Long tell you himself in the below video I took while I was there.


  • Open sunrise to sunset
  • Located right on Route 66
  • Elmer accepts donations, but it is free to enter

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One of the spots I was most excited about on my recent trip down Route 66 was Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch. As I pulled up in my car, I knew it would live up to expectations. This place was a forest of bottle trees.

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As I walked in the entrance, it was hard to figure out what to focus on as there was so much going on, but it is places like this that you need to spend a reasonable amount of time just exploring to get the full experience. Elmer himself likes to hang out here as much as he can and simply talk to those that are enjoying his creation.

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Here are some of my favorite pictures from the time there.

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He also has a donation box so that you can help him with his art and if you donate you can take a small piece of glass as a souvenir.

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My favorite areas where the old boat that he had and the tree made out of an old missile.

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When I was there, at least ten other people were as well. One person who had flown in from France to drive Route 66 and had heard about Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch all the way over in France.

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Elmer also confirmed to me that people from China, Japan and other places around the world show up every so often to interview him and talk about his project, I would love to know how they find out about it.

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All in all, Elmer’s Bottletree Ranch is an excellent stop on Route 66. It is a fun place to explore, and there is a lot of photographic opportunities. Hopefully, you can visit when Elmer is there, he is a great guy to talk to, and it is fun to ask questions to the creator of this unique attraction. If you need more stops on this stretch of Route 66, make sure to check out my post on it here, and I would love any comments below.


Center map

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About JoshMc

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  • Very cool! I’m going to have to take a road trip on Route 66 one of these days. I’ve been on many sections of it, but never been by this one.

    Question: Is Bagdad, California really a place, or is that just a gag?

    • Ya Bagdad is a real place. It was a small town that got passed over when the highway changed. It is no more according to Elmer but he was able to find the sign.

  • this is so awesome.. i saw photographs here before, but never knew where they took them.

    • Ya, this place is one of my favorite I have been to in a while. So great for photography.

  • Teresa Rutherford

    love love love it!

    • Thanks, I love this place too its so fun to explore!

  • Rmark

    Spent an hour here last week…what a cool place. I am glad to have found your site just for items such as this! Thanks Josh.

    • No problem! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Ashley Atton

    Hoping to stop here today! Thank you for the information!

    • No problem, have fun!

  • Em

    Hi, Josh!
    May I know which town in California is Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch? Its very fascinating! My children would love this place! Thank you for posting such places 🙂

    • Its on Route 66 North of the town of Arroyo Grande, it is a pretty cool spot for sure.

      • Harley Lehman

        It’s north of Oro Grande CA on Route 66…

  • karlos

    Hi. My family and I are coming over on holiday next August 2015 from England to drive this route. We were inspired by your web site. We are going to visit most of the attractions you have suggested on route to las Vegas. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the comment and I hope you have an amazing holiday!

  • jzzy55

    If you do go to Elmer’s, please consider leaving a donation. While Mr & Mrs Long are incredibly nice, it would be great for them to be able to fund a Porta Potty for visitors. Your donation will help.

    • Good suggestion, donations are always a good idea at beautiful places like this!

      • jzzy55

        I’m almost (soon maybe) related to them by marriage. So I have a bit of an inside POV.

        • Thanks for the insider information!

          • Polly Edwards

            Hey Josh,

            Loved this post, the photos are really beautiful!

            Do you by any chance have a contact for Elmer? I would love to interview him for a video series I’ve been working on, and am in California in may.

            Polly x

          • I am sorry I do not have any contact for him.

          • jzzy55

            Now related by marriage!

          • Congratulations! Thats awesome!

  • Arthur Johnson

    Me and my wife stop by here today and this place was cool Elmer is the homie I really enjoyed talking to him thanks Elmer I really respect u ART my wife Beverly and my dog oreo

    • Thanks for the comment, glad you got to see him!

  • Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Nicole Rosenbaum

    Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch was such a treat. We were all delighted by the creativity and wackiness of his designs. GREAT recommendation. Thank you!!! #CAthroughmylensrules

    • Thanks for the comment and for sharing the photo! Looks like a fun time!

  • Dean

    LOVE this! My daughter sent me this article because I have a small bottle tree in New Mexico made out of a yucca stalk. 🙂 Elmer rocks!

    • Awesome, I love it! Thanks for sharing the photo!

  • Glenna Rose Kontopuls

    Such vibrant photos!! Driving from San Diego to Vegas next month…..I’ll have to add this to my list.

    • Have fun, lots of great stuff to see along that drive!

  • Barbara

    Josh-Thank you so much for the info on Elmers! Had never heard about it and was looking up somewhere to eat between LA and Las Vegas when I came across your blog. Well we took the slight detour to visit Elmers and LOVED it!! What a treasure! Something so unique in the middle of what seems like nowhere. While we were walking around we stopped to talk to another couple that were from Hawaii and they had read about it and had to stop. The word is getting out! Thanks again!!! (did leave a donation to help with that porta potty)

    • Thanks for the comment, I am so glad you found the site and that you were able to have a fun adventure from it!

  • This is so cool! I’ll have to check it out at some point. Thanks for sharing!

    • No problem, thanks for the comment