There’s a tree that grows from a cavern in Olympic National Park in Washington, on Kalaloch Beach. Amazingly, this wonder of nature,”The Kalaloch Tree of Life”, clings to life despite the fact that it looks like it should have died long ago.
The Washington State tree of life is located on a cliff that has partially caved in over time due to natural erosion, just north of Kalaloch Lodge. The degradation is so severe that it appears as though the tree should have died long ago.
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.
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. To everyone’s surprise, the tree continues to stand in its strange position every year, despite the fact that it is difficult to ignore the middle’s dip and droop, which are undoubtedly caused by the enormous weight of the trunk. The tree’s drop and sag are what lead repeat visitors to believe that it won’t be there next year.
This particular Sitka spruce is growing on the edge of bluff overlooking the beach. A stream has chosen the same location to reach the beach and is slowly eroding away the soil beneath the tree. The end result is a mature Sitka spruce, green with life yet dangling precariously in mid air from a few strong roots. The space beneath the tree’s exposed roots is large enough to enter and is known as Tree Root Cave. The stream that has created this phenomenon flows out of the cave and down to the ocean.
This stunning natural wonder has no official name. Consequently, it goes by many: the Kalaloch Tree, The Runaway Tree, Tree Root Cave (for the space beneath the tree) and The Tree of Life.
The “Tree Root Cave” is the area underneath the tree. It was caused by a small stream that empties into the ocean. The stream has been washing the soil from under the tree for decades.
You can go and visit the tree and the cave. Be careful, of course, when you’re exploring around underneath. Because of the erosion and the precarious nature of the massive tree, it could give out any moment.