Secret Cypress Tree Tunnel – California Pacific Coast Highway 1
This Cypress Tree Tunnel is one of those secret photo stops that make road trips so fun and interesting, it offers a beautiful place for a photos and makes for some interesting exploring. If you’re looking for things to do along the Northern California Coast close to San Francisco, you’ll definitely want to put this on your to do list.
An hour and 45 minute drive from San Francisco, this fun stop is found along the stunning Point Reyes California Peninsula (pronounced Point Reys by the locals). The fairyland like tunnel is located about halfway between the Point Reyes lighthouse and the visitors center and the short trip offers a getaway from the crowds of the city. There’s a sign that marks the entrance, but it’s easy to miss, especially if you’re taking in the scenery of the dairy farms like I was.
Taking root in 1930, these 86 year old trees, planted by RCA radio, literally grow over the road forming a stunning tunnel that blocks the light as you drive down. I imagine, on a misty day, it’s somewhat eerie and while I wasn’t there at Sunset, I’m told it’s a perfect location catching streams of light during early morning and sunset.
The Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station found at the end of the lane, turns it back to the ocean. In it’s glory it was a wireless telegraphy transmitting station and a receiving station in Marshall on Tomales Bay in 1913–14. The radio equipment, ship-to-shore Morse communications, and teletype, some of it dating to the World War II-era, remains intact, and has been restored.
On weekends you can tour the station and once a year they host a Night of Nights annual event. Visit the Maritime Radio Historical Society website for information about the weekend tours or about Night of Nights.
This Cypress Tree Tunnel is one of those rare spots that lives up to your expectations and is a fantastic place for both ameture photograghers and professionals alike. Visitors are asked not to park on the road when stopping for a look. Instead you’ll need to travel all the way down to the lane and park in the lot. Don’t forget to walk around the building to enjoy a peek at the ocean as well.
I highly recommend you make the trip out to photograph not only this place but to explore the amazing Point Reyes National Seashore. I’ll have more ideas of things to do in this charming area including some amazing hikes, touring a fantastic Lighthouse and a mysterious shipwreck coming soon. Visit the Point Reyes National Park Service website for more information.