Trees of Mystery: Giant Paul Bunyan, Crazy Trees and a Gondola Ride

File this under one of the best road trip spots I have ever seen. From the minute it comes into view, the 60 foot Paul Bunyan statue and his 30 foot ox sidekick beckon the weary traveler to come sit at their feet and hear their tales.

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I have seen these statues before and I was always under the impression that they were ten times smaller than they really are, these are literally massive.

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This is just the first of the many mysteries you will see if you pay the $15 to explore the Tree of Mysteries grounds yourself.


  • 15 dollars to enter
  • 1 mile long trail
  • Contains hiking and a gondola ride

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I will admit, when I heard it was $15 to enter, I was apprehensive as to whether or not it would be worth it. I mean I love the weird stops, but I didn’t really have any idea what was here.

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After going though my wife and I both agreed that it was $15 dollars well spent. It was a ton of fun. Here is what it entails

The Trail and the Trees

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After paying the fee you will walk through one of the fallen trees and into the forest that lays behind the massive gift shop. From here you will experience a variable Ripley’s Belive it or Not of tree oddities, it is a lot of fun. Here are some of the trees you will see.

Elephant Tree

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Family Tree

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Candelabra Tree

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Chapel Tree

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Natures Underpass

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Lighting Tree

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Brotherhood Tree

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As you can see there are a lot of fun things to see over this .75 mile trail. When you finally reach the Brotherhood Tree your fun will continue with a 7 minute gondola ride through the trees to a lookout above.

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When I was there it was raining profusely so it was pretty hard to see out of the gondola windows. It was still a nice ride though and I was happy to be out of the rain.

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When you reach the top you can disembark and walk up to the vista point. From here you can see over many of the redwoods in the area and I imagine it being beautiful when it is clear. If you are feeling adventurous then you can also grab a walking stick and hike back down to the start of the sky trail on a series of steeps they have put into the hillside.

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Normally I am all about this but with the rain I was happy to jump back in the gondola and ride back down to the start.

The Folklore

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After the sky ride you will head back to the start of the trail. Before you exit though you will see one of my favorite areas, which is the telling of tall tales area. 

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This .1 mile trail features beautifully carved large wooden displays for the different tales surrounding Paul Bunyan and others. I was in a rush so I didn’t listen to the story but I really enjoyed seeing all of the different carvings. 

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Before you leave make sure to take a photo sitting on the foot of Paul Bunyan.

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All in all the Tree of Mystery was a fantastic stop on my roadtrip. I had been to three different groves on my drive and they didn’t even have the strange trees that grow here. If you can afford it, it is a great stop for the whole family, one I am sure you will enjoy.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.