Perhaps one of the last remaining original roadside attractions in California, the Trees of Mystery opened in 1931 and offered a truly unique experience for both adults and children of all ages. There is so much to see and do in Northern California, and this unusual attraction should defiantly be on your to-do list.
Trees of Mystery offers more than just a beautiful walk through a redwood grove. Guests are free to wandering awe on this arduous trail, where unusual coastal redwoods, Sitka spruce, and Douglas fir are highlighted with informational displays and audio descriptions.
Many carvings around the property demonstrate the versatility of the redwood and a gondola that takes you up above the treetops for a one-of-a-kind gorgeous view.
Upon arriving, visitors will know they have come to the right place as they are greeted by talking and waving a 50-foot statue of Paul Bunyan and his 35-foot tall friend, Babe the Blue Ox at the front entrance.
From there an interpretive forest trail winds up into a giant, hollow, redwood log, and then on to the actual mystery trees, to see the various ways the trees have grown, and fallen, naturally, as you are guided by a recorded message that recites each mystery along the way.
The trail continues, taking you to Cathedral Tree, a cluster of six redwoods growing out of a single root in a tight semicircle. Mysterious and stunning, it is used as the site of Easter services each year and also many weddings.
Along the way, guests will cross paths with the Sky Trail, a cable car ride where enclosed gondola cars rise 571 feet in elevation up to Brotherhood Station. The entire trip only takes eight to 10 minutes, with brief stops to view the surrounding forest while passing enormous Redwood trunks on both sides.
At the top of the hill is an observation deck with a view of the surrounding area, which includes the mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The last section of the Trees Of Mystery tells the tall tales of larger-than-life folk hero Paul Bunyan, as told through audiotape and unique redwood chainsaw carvings.
Finally, at the end of the trail, and aptly named, is The End of the Trail Native American Museum, one of the largest privately-owned world-class museums for Indian artifacts.
The museum is organized into six rooms. On display are many of the animals used by the tribes for food and raw materials for crafts, clothing, and shelter. There are baby carriers, weapons, tools, pipes, pottery, jewelry, instruments, dolls, photos, and much more.
Again, there is not just one room but several that represent tribes from the Pacific Northwest, California, the Great Basin, the Plains, and the Southwest. You will learn much about the lives of Native Americans from the exhibits’ informative labels and placards.
The Museum is connected to a gift shop that surpasses the trend of souvenir homogeny. Marylee Thompson, the owner of the museum, collected the clothing, pottery, weapons, baskets, jewelry, instruments, and other items on exhibit here over 40 years. It provides an excellent opportunity to take home a piece of your visit to this enchanted forest.
If you work an appetite while exploring, there is the Forest Cafe for enjoyable dining. Also nearby is the Motel Trees for lodging. These are both directly across Highway 101 from the gift shop and interpretive trail area. Trees of Mystery is 320 miles north of San Francisco and 36 miles south of Oregon in Klamath, California, between Orick and Crescent City along Highway 101.
Admission includes the Sky Trail, Forest Experience trail, Wilderness Trail, and the Trail of Tall Tales and the Kingdom. The End of the Trail Native American museum is always free and is supported by Trees of Mystery trail admissions. 15500 U.S. 101, Klamath, CA 95548