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Standing along California’s famously scenic 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach, a lone Monterey Cypress stands on a granite hillside alongside one of the world’s most beautiful (and expensive) golf courses. As one of California’s most enduring landmarks, the Lone Cypress has prevailed on its rocky perch for more than 250 years. This icon is the living symbol of Pebble Beach Company, owner of Pebble Beach golf courses and many properties in this wealthy region of the Monterey Bay.

A western icon claiming to be one of the most photographed trees in North America, the tree is located at marker 16 on 17-Mile Drive between Cypress Point Golf Course and the Pebble Beach Golf Links, two of world’s most well known golf courses. At $10 per car for entry to 17-Mile Drive, which is located on private property, that’s less than $1 per mile for the chance to see this absolutely stunning coast!

The Lone Cypress.

The Lone Cypress.

The cypress has been scarred by fire and withstood Pacific storms and wind – it has been held in place with hidden cables for 65 years in the hope that it will live to be 300. After-all, this is a species of tree which naturally occurs in no place on Earth but around Pebble Beach and Point Lobos. Every one of these natives is a rarity.

This photo was taken above the surf, rocks and foliage, from a wooden observation deck; it’s not possible to get any closer to the tree. Some tourists came, snapped their photos and left during the 25 minutes we were there, though truly a sight to behold, it’s nice to just sit and take in the scenery.

Though don’t think you can replicate this beautiful scene for profit – the Lone Cypress “is a corporate logo and trademark of Pebble Beach Company. As such any use of the tree’s image is regulated by law. Photographs or art renderings of the Lone Cypress for commercial purposes or promotional purposes cannot be taken or created without permission from Pebble Beach Company. Photographs and art renderings for personal use only are welcomed.”

I found it highly amusing that you can trademark a tree.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

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    12 Comments

  1. $10 now. That’s not bad at all. I used to bike most of the road on weekends, for free.

    • Yep, totally worth it in my opinion. Was one of the most beautiful drives, and the beaches are worthy of my Australian tick of approval haha – that’s a pretty high standard :D

      Good tip though if you’re in the area to bike through! We’re hoping to win the lottery and buy one of the 16 million dollar homes :D Could happen!

  2. The sight is stunning indeed – I find rocky coasts so much more picturesque than sand beaches.

    • Absolutely agree with you – there’s more to look at, more going on and it’s much more picturesque :)

  3. Looks beautiful indeed. Reminded me of Betty’s Bay at the Western Cape in South Africa. Equally stunning.

    • I’ll have to check that up; we’re hoping for a trip to South Africa at some point very soon, and if there’s a place which reminds you of here I would love to visit!

      Thanks for the tip Wilbur!

  4. Great coverage, Megan! And indeed, that’s absolutely fascinating that you can trademark a tree! >_< Haha but I guess that's what also makes this place unique.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Aileen! Lol I had to read the sign they had up twice – couldn’t believe it! I had better not make this a sponsored post I guess :D lol

  5. I must admit I have never heard of the Lone Cyprus before! It is a pretty great story though, I can’t believe it has lasted that long in a place that isn’t the best of conditions.

    • We couldn’t believe that we hadn’t actually heard of it before we arrived in Cambria either. Though I’m so glad we did the 17-Mile drive, and I highly recommend it!

      Glad you enjoyed the post Valerie – hope you can get out there for yourself sometime soon :)

  6. Wow! This is stunning. Trademarking a tree is unique idea… Thanks for sharing!

    • Isn’t it though!! I hope you manage a trip to California to see it for yourself sometime soon :) Lol and I thought the same – had to do a doubletake when I realized the sign was notifying of the trademark of the tree!

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