Cordes Junction, Arizona: Mystery Christmas Tree

An anonymous Santa decorates a lone juniper tree every Christmas season in the median of Interstate 17.
I-17, Cordes Junction, AZ
In the median of I-17, one mile north of the Sunset Point rest area, about 30 miles north of Phoenix city limits. Visible from north and southbound lanes.
Seasonal, late Nov - Jan.
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Mystery Christmas Tree.

Mystery Christmas Tree

Each year in late November, person or persons unknown put Christmas decorations on a large Juniper tree, which is located in the median of Interstate 17, about 30 miles North of Phoenix. This has been going on for about 20 years, with the tree being decorated in late November and then cleaned up shortly after Christmas. This tree is literally in the middle of nowhere. No towns, no other roads, no power. It is easily visible from both north and southbound lanes.

Although the Phoenix newspaper has written several articles about the tree, no one has ever been publicly identified as the decorator.

I was a law enforcement officer in Phoenix for 28 years and have heard stories that Highway Patrol officers and Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputies have seen the tree being decorated, but drove on by in order to preserve the tradition. Given that the tree is located in the median of a busy freeway and the decorating has been done for so many years, I suspect some truth to the rumors.

[Roy Holt, 12/07/2007]

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