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The Amazing Shingletown Totem Pole


Once we left the Lassen Volcanic National Park on our way to spend the night in Redding, the first thing we spotted was the Shingletown Totem Pole. The kids were the ones who spotted it first from the backseat of the car and shouted for me to turn around to check it out.


It looked just like a real Totem Pole, and the kids immediately jumped out of the car to explore it once I pulled over to the side of the road. We had no idea what town we were in until learning later on the trip that we were in Shingletown or what the Totem Pole represented – all we knew was that it was amazing to see in real-life!!


After doing some research upon getting home from our family road trip, we learned that in 1999, local sculptor John Welsh carved a 60-foot tall totem pole from a single 350-year old Sugar Pine. He was Depicting a gathering of an animal council consisting of a stellar jay, a Thunderbird, a raven, a beaver, and a grizzly bear holding a salmon. The Thunderbird has a wingspan of 18-feet and the other animals range from 10 to 12 feet tall. It sits on 7-foot concrete and steel base. It weighs approximately 24,000 pounds. (The original pole was destroyed by insects)*

The totem pole is one of the largest in the Country, and our kids were amazed by it. My older son fell in love with it so much that he walked through the prickly brush just so that he could touch it.

When you family is visiting the area, don’t miss stopping to witness this beautiful piece of art in an area rich in Native American History.
GPS Address:
31292 Alpine Meadows Road
Shingletown, California 96088 USA

* Source:

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