Pioneer Cabin Tree - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

The famous Pioneer Cabin Tree, located in California’s Calaveras Big Trees State Park, is no longer standing after a massive storm blew through the area in January. The historic sequoia became famous in the 1880s when it was hallowed out; allowing visitors to travel through its base.

Thousands of visitors flocked to the state park each year to pass through the iconic tree’s tunnel and get a true feel for its size. Through the years, the mammoth tree saw horses, carriages and vehicles travel through its 22-foot diameter base. As the approximately 100-foot tall tree became older, only foot traffic was permitted.

Fans of the Calaveras Big Trees Association Facebook page have been mourning the loss of the tree with photos and discussions of their time spent there. Historians and docents have been fielding questions regarding the tree, and the park’s plan for its use. The intention is to leave it be, and allow it to decompose to improve the soil for future trees in the park.

The California State Parks Service plans to reopen the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. However, the trail to where the Pioneer Cabin Tree once stood is temporarily closed. As unusual storms continue to impact the area with torrential rains and flooding, the opening date of the trail is uncertain. The Sierra Nevada region received close to a foot of rain during early January, and officials are expecting to be pummeled with several feet of snow.

What Do You Think?

Have you ever visited the Pioneer Cabin Tree? Do you have any memories or photos you would like to share? I’d love to hear what this tree meant to you, so please feel free to share your pictures and stories with me on Facebook or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino