Even though we love our southern Utah desert, it is so fun to visit somewhere new. On our way to the coast of Washington state, we stopped to see the majestic redwood trees. These trees are magnificent. A friend of mine said we should try visiting “Trees of Mystery” and we did just that.
We scooted through just in time to get our pass to the Sky Trail. I believe this is indeed what you call a “tourist trap”, but the best kind. My kids were giggly and full of smiles as soon as we saw Paul Bunyan and his sweet blue Babe.
You begin by walking up a cute wood trail to get to the booth. The booth is where you will pay to visit the Sky Trail and enter the main trail. The main trail is not long; only about 8/10th of a mile. It takes approximately 40 minutes to walk straight through the trail. The Sky Trail (gondola ride) is about at the halfway mark on the trail. Plan about 20 minutes to ride up to the observation point, take a quick peek, and come back down. They close the booth down about about an hour before closing time on their website (I think we hit there around 5:30pm with a closing time of 7pm and we were the last ones they let through). If you, or someone in your party, can’t manage the trail, they do have shuttle rides that will transport you to and from the Sky Trail. The shuttle picks up/drops off in the parking lot. If you have someone that will need the shuttle, I recommend sending someone up to the booth to pay while those that need assistance remain at the entrance (seen below).
Note: I would not recommend wearing flip-flops (you know…those things EVERY person in my family is wearing below). We did not know what the trail was like, or how this visit would go so we were in our “car travel” shoes. I would recommend putting on tennis shoes or at least shoes that are secured to your feet (like buckling sandals); it will make for an easier trek, although it is not impossible to do in flip-flops. 🙂 The trail is dirt with a few wood-planked areas and there are some inclines and downhills in the trail. Nothing too crazy. I would say this trail is easy, but be prepared.
The sign below tells you a bit about the park. Take a quick minute to read while you visit. It does recommend to plan for hour to complete the Trees of Mystery experience, but it could take longer depending on how many pictures you stop to take (or how bad you have to pee — luckily there ARE bathrooms on the trail that are quite nice — yay!).
So many adorable things to look at. Take it all in; don’t miss any of it. I have only posted a few random pictures from the experience as I didn’t want to spoil your visit.
Look for these wooden signs; they’re full of wonderful bits o’info.
Look up!! Look up!! These trees are so impressive. I really loved that they made me feel so small. Nature is amazing and we owe it the respect of marveling at its amazing-ness. Don’t let the opportunity pass by to make your kids (and yourself) reflect on just how majestic these redwoods are. Truly awesome.
If your family is planning to brave the gondola rides, called the Sky Trail, here is what the gondola looks like. I will apologize in advance for my glared pictures. The gondola is completely encased in plastic and so…uhh…that’s what you get from a non-professional photographer. Hopefully you still enjoy the views. The gondolas seat approximately 6. For reference sake — I have 4 kids that range in age from 11 years old to a small 5 year old. My husband is 6′ 8″ and I am 5′ 7″. We were able to fit our entire family in one gondola, but we had no extra room. If you are concerned about squeezing in, just opt to split up in to multiple gondolas.
Here is the humorous part of this whole adventure. Remember how I don’t like my kids with heights? So WHO decided to do this?! ME! That’s right! I did. I don’t know why. I’d never been on a gondola, or even a ski lift for that matter, so really I was just completely unaware of what the experience would be like. I was fine…in the end…but I’m not sure my 11-year-old will ever forgive me. We all learned that he is fine on tall rocks or edges, but dangling cable cars? Nope.
Important note for those that are unsure about this: IT WILL PERIODICALLY STOP. Not just slow down, but totally and completely stop. This is normal. The stops were probably the worst part for my nervous kid. It does not go terribly fast even when moving, but you will come to a full stop allowing time to admire the view and take pictures (and so cars can load at the on/off stations). Don’t be scared or surprised by the stops.
Wave at your neighbors as you go up, up and up! (And back down, down, down.)
Below is a picture at the top of the observation point: Ted’s Ridge. It is a big wooden deck with some amazing views. Make sure you exit the gondolas and spend some time here. There are benches for sitting and admiring as well as binocular stations.
Here’s a super quick video of our little ride. Don’t let them scare you. It really wasn’t bad at all — even for scaredy-pants-with-kids-up-high Mom here. 😉
We spent the rest of the trail admiring all the wood carvings and reading the story along the trail. This was such a fun experience!
At the end of the trail you will walk through the gift shop to exit Trees of Mystery. All in all a great visit that I would totally visit again should we be in the area.
Not far south of Trees of Mystery is the Klamath Tour Thru Tree. There’s a ginormous sign as you head up the road to Trees of Mystery, you can’t miss it (and there are emu’s across the street! Can’t beat that, right?!).
A cheap thrill for the kids. It is up a steep hill so no trailers or large vehicles are allowed. This was also very, very busy. We were not able to step out and get a picture inside the tree (out of the car) due to all the traffic. Hopefully you’ll have better luck than we did during your visit.
(It’s hard to see, but the hubs totally hit the side mirror getting through the tree. No cars were damaged in the taking of this picture.)
For more information on hours and pricing, you can visit the Trees of Mystery website here.