Washington State is chock-full of natural wonders. Further west, out along the shores of the Pacific Coast, is another one of Washington State’s natural wonders, the Kalaloch Tree of Life.
The tree sits in the plush Olympic National Park, about an hour southwest of the Hoh Rainforest. Because the wondrous tree lacks a specific name, it’s also called The Tree of Life, The Runaway Tree, and simply, the Kalaloch Tree.
The Kalaloch Tree is a Sitka spruce, the largest type of spruce. The Sitka spruce runs along the west coast, its name deriving from the expansive Sitka community located in Alaska. It’s noted for both its towering height and its wide trunk, two characteristics that contribute to this tree’s mystery. The Kalaloch Tree, located just south of Forks and along the 101 Highway, is literally hanging by a limb. As seen in the photos, the massive tree clings to its parting coastal bluff by winding thick roots.
Witnesses of the tree continue to return every year to gape at its wonder, expecting it to have fallen during the time between their visits. And each year, to everyone’s surprise, the tree remains in its questionable position, though it’s hard not to notice the dip and sag in the middle, obviously a result of the trunk’s heavy weight. It’s that dip and sag that make continual visitors believe that come next year, the tree will be no more.
Underneath the webbed roots of the Kalaloch Tree is the Tree Root Cave. Inside, a stream falls into the cave and flows out into the ocean. It’s this stream that washes out the soil underneath the roots every year. Many question how the tree continues to grow and the leaves continue to stay green. According to the Kalaloch Lodge’s website, “These questions have been asked so many times with no one really knowing how it keeps on going. So it became known to some as the Tree of Life.”
The tree is easily accessible, requiring only a minimal hike. The Kalaloch Lodge sits nearby for overnighters and the trail head sits right off of the 101 Highway. For those tackling a coastal road trip or for Washingtonian’s just looking for a day trip adventure, the Kalaloch Tree is not something to miss.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.