Arlington's Cedar Stump Tunnel (And a Childhood Memory)

Calling all Washington history buffs and road trippers! Take a nostalgic detour along Highway 1-5 near Arlington, Washington, to experience a unique roadside attraction – the Giant Cedar Stump. This colossal remnant of a local Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata Don) stood for over 1,250 years before succumbing to a fire in 1893.

A Nostalgic Journey:

Arlington WA rest area cedar stumpFor me, the Giant Cedar Stump holds a special place in my heart. As a child, cruising through this ancient wonder in our family's 1955 Cadillac was a cherished tradition. We'd open the electric windows, and reach out to feel the rough texture of the stump as we passed through. Mom would pass out peanut butter sandwiches lovingly wrapped in wax paper, and Dad would dole out his famous lemonade. We'd then sprawl out on a blanket for an hour nearby, enjoying a rare sunny day picnicking in the shade of towering trees.

A Drive Through Time:

Imagine cruising through history in your classic car (or any car for that matter) like those who once did in the 1950s. The Giant Cedar Stump, carved into a tunnel in 1916, served as a drive-thru attraction area residents and travelers through the Stillaguamish River for decades.

Preserving the Past:

Preserved at the request of Snohomish County pioneers in 1922, the stump stands as a testament to the region's rich history and its many towering old-growth forests that brought thousands of loggers to Western Washington. A historical marker details the fascinating journey of this ancient wonder, which has been moved several times throughout the years. Originally located near Highway 99, it now resides at the Smokey Point Rest Area, offering a reminder of the ancient giants that once grew on the Stillaguamish River flood plain.

Plan Your Visit:

The Giant Cedar Stump is a free attraction, perfect for today's travelers or anyone seeking an outing with a quick historical pitstop. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the fresh air under the shade of towering trees surrounding the what many feel is their favorite rest area in Washington, and reminding long time residents of precious family memories and the pioneers that settled here.

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