The Lone Cypress on the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble

The Lone Cypress Near Pebble Beach

Monterey and Carmel Attractions

The Lone Cypress on the 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach is a historic and an iconic tree because it’s  the symbol of  Pebble Beach Resorts and Golf Links.

Twisting through the scenic streets of the upscale Pebble Beach, California community, the 17-mile drive is an essential part of your visit to the northern California coast. Featuring beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean, glimpses of the spectacular mansions that line the residential sections of the street, views of the many golf greens in the area, and remote spots on which to picnic or just enjoy the sunny weather, 17-mile Drive truly encapsulates the kind of resort-style living that characterizes Pebble Beach.

But there is one landmark that stands above the rest as a mark of the perseverance and strength of the north coast’s history: The Lone Cypress tree. The Lone Cypress, planted over 250 years ago, is perched atop a rocky cliff high above the Pacific Ocean’s tumultuous breakers. It is called the Lone Cypress because the tree literally stands alone on top of its cliff, surrounded by only rocks and small shrubs, as the place it selected to grow is likely one of the most difficult

places to survive for any plant, much less a delicate cypress. Somehow, the tree has managed to lodge its root system sufficiently into the rocky crag atop which it sits, giving it a foothold sufficient to withstand the constant battering it takes from the elements. Subjected to the strong winds and storms that come directly off of the Pacific Ocean, the tree has become a symbol of resilience and perseverance throughout its multiple centuries of hearty growth.

Because of this symbolic strength and perseverance, the tree was selected as the official symbol of the Pebble Beach community. As part of this honor, it has also become the official symbol of the Pebble Beach resorts and golf courses, lending its image to the many kinds of golfing and houseware memorabilia available for purchase at the 17-mile drive lodge and the resort gift shops. Embroidered into polo shirts, emblazoned onto commemorative plaques, and printed onto coffee mugs, the Lone Cypress has truly proven an incredible metaphor for the strength of an entire community and succeeded at bringing the magic and wonder of Pebble Beach to the international community. If you watch telecasts of golf tournaments or other events on the north coast taking place near Monterey, it is also quite likely that you will see the Lone Cypress at least a few times during the event’s programming. Because of the rarity of the image and how much it represents the community of Pebble Beach, it is always an interesting picture to look at during programs such as these.

The Lone Cypress is also a stop on the famed 17-mile Drive. As the name would indicate, this is a 17-mile-long scenic drive through the communities of Pebble Beach and Carmel. Although the communities do charge a small fee for the drive, it gives you an irreplaceable view of everything that makes these communities so well known for being as interesting as they are opulent.

You start out in the astounding residential community of Pebble Beach, catching glimpses of the incredible mansions that hide behind groves of trees and tall fences. Then, you drive inland past several golf courses before being let out onto a spectacular view of the Pacific at Point Joe. Giving you a spectacular view of the tumultuous and rocky coastline that is hallmark of the northern California coastline, this is the beginning of a truly unforgettable stretch of coastline down which you get to drive, walk, or bike! Following Point Joe, you are led down the coastline (with many opportunities to turn off and picnic or take pictures) until you finally end up at the Lone Cypress lookout point. Although you cannot go straight up to the tree because conservationists want to preserve its root system for as long as possible, there are definitely ample opportunities to view it from afar, as well as take some fabulous pictures with the tree in the foreground and the majestic Pacific Ocean in the background.

Latest news and update: Pebble Beach  famous Lone Cypress Tree is believed to be as old as 250 years, unfortunately it lost a limb a couple of years ago  because a storm. Roughly one-third of the tree snapped off in the storm. An arborist examined the Lone Cypress, the Associated Press reported, and concluded it is “healthy and remains secure on its iconic rocky perch.   

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