Buford, Wyoming: Tree in the Rock

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Interstate 80, Buford, WY
Midway between Laramie and Cheyenne, in a wayside rest in the median of I-80 at mile marker 333.
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Tree in the Rock.

Tree in the Rock
Famous tree that seems to sprout from solid rock, preserved between the east and west lanes of I-80. The lone pine tree has been fascinating travelers since the first railroad passed through in 1867. Roadsideamerica.com Report...

Visitor Tips and News About Tree in the Rock

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Tree in Rock.

Tree in the Rock

Love this story of fascination and perseverance. I can picture the locomotive firemen 'giving the tree a drink'. This, quite possibly, is one of the earliest examples of tree hugging. How can you NOT stop here.

[Mark Thomas, 01/18/2014]
Tree in the Rock

The granite rocks where the tree has taken root are encircled by a belt of steel cable to prevent the tree roots or other forces from spreading them apart, which could kill the tree.

[El Gallo Rey, 08/15/2013]

Tree in the Rock.

Tree in the Rock

Keep an eye out for the sign on left side of the freeway that says "Point of Interest."

[Lisa, 04/03/2012]

Tree in the Rock.

Tree in the Rock

A roadside marker says it all:

"This small pine tree that seems to be growing out of solid rock has fascinated travelers since the first train rolled past on the Union Pacific Railroad. It is said that the builders of the original railroad diverted the tracks slightly to pass by the tree as they laid rails across Sherman Mountain in 1867-69. It is also said that trains stopped here while locomotive firemen 'gave the tree a drink' from their water buckets. The railroad moved several miles to the south in 1901 and the abandoned grade became a wagon road.

"In 1913 the Lincoln Highway Association was formed 'To procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific.' The Lincoln Highway was an instant success in a nation enamored with the newfangled automobiles and eager for a place to drive them. The Lincoln passed right by Tree Rock as did U. S. 30 in the 1920s and Interstate 80 in the 1960s. At this place the road was approaching the 8,835-foot Sherman Summit, the highest point on the Lincoln. The view of the surrounding mountains was like nothing that west-bound easterners had ever seen. Still, they noticed the little tree, which became the favored subject of many early postcards and photographs. It still is. "The tree is a somewhat stunted and twisted limber pine (Pinus flexilis), a type of tree commonly found in this area where ponderosa and limber pines dominate the landscape. The age of the tree is unknown, although limber pines can live as long as 2,000 years. The tree grows out of a crack in a boulder of Precambrian era pink Sherman granite formed more than 1-4 billion years ago."

[Chuck Rhode, 07/12/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Ames Brothers PyramidAmes Brothers Pyramid, Buford, WY - 3 mi.
Smallest Town In AmericaSmallest Town In America, Buford, WY - 2 mi.
Giant Head of Abraham LincolnGiant Head of Abraham Lincoln, Laramie, WY - 9 mi.
In the region:
Matthew Shepard Memorial Bench, Laramie, WY - 17 mi.

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