LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sunday’s massive storm in Northern California toppled one of California’s oldest tourist attractions – a giant sequoia tree famous for its “drive-thru” tunnel carved into its trunk.
The Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calavares Big Trees State Park fell down and shattered as it hit the ground, park volunteer Jim Allday said.
The once-majestic sequoia has been reduced to a huge pile of what looked like rotted wood.
The tree was hollowed out in the 1880’s to allow tourists and later vehicles to pass through. But in the recent decades, only pedestrians were allowed through.
Tree lovers have been mourning the loss of the iconic tree.
“A combination of trunk and root decay and storm water runoff appears to have brought the giant sequoia down at its base, shattering it and a nearby cedar tree,” according to a press release by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
No one was hurt because it happened while the trail to the giant sequoia was closed due to heavy downpour and rising creeks.
The Pioneer Cabin Tree, one of the best known giant sequoias that grow naturally only in the western Sierra Nevada, stood about 100 feet tall and was 22 feet in diameter at breast height, park officials said.
The giant sequoia is the largest tree species in the world, with some of them reaching a diameter of 27 feet.