In 1881 one of Yosemite National Park's largest Giant Sequoias had an existing fire scar enlarged to create a tunnel big enough for a horse drawn carriage to drive through. The tree became an immediate tourist attraction, luring thousands of visitors a year to have their picture taken with the Tunnel Tree. The tree is pictured in thousands of photos dating from the early 1900's with tourist groups loaded into the back of horse drawn carts to the 1960's where tourists are commonly pictured in their automobiles.
The Tunnel Tree was 227 feet tall and 90 feet in circumference at it's base when it fell in the winter of 1969. The tree originally had a slight lean that increased after the tunnel was cut through it's trunk. This lean combined with the tunnel and an approximate two tons of snow resting on it's crown caused the tree to topple. The tree was renamed the Fallen Tunnel Tree and still lays near it's original position in Mariposa Grove.