Unfortunately, the train wasn’t running during the time we were there.
“Take our Mountain Train Ride on a 30 minute trip through second and old growth Redwoods, Tan Oaks, Fir and Madrone trees to the hilltop and back. You will travel on 1¼ miles of 20 gauge track. We use a unique Alpine switchback system to ascend the hillside. The Engineer will tell you about some of the particular characteristics of the Coastal Redwood! There is also an interesting collection of historical logging equipment to be seen as you make the loop around the top of the hill. The train rides are on a First come, First serve basis.”
Early Redwood promoters arrived one step ahead of the conservationists, and tunneled through the base of select giants, charging tourists for the privilege of making the twenty foot journey from one side of a tree to the other without having to go around it. Modern environmentalists have made sure that there will be no new drive-thru trees, so the remaining few are tenaciously preserved.
At the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree in Myers Flat, the star attraction offers passage through a tight tunnel carved into a naturally angled opening in the trunk.
“During the early 1920s, promoters of California’s tourism industry devised a clever way to entice visitors to see the captivating beauty of the redwood forests—cut a tunnel through a redwood and charge people a fee to drive their cars through to the other side. It was a great photo opportunity that quickly caught on.”