Phillipsville, California: Chimney Tree, Old Hobbiton USA SiteFormer dual attraction combined a "room" in the trunk of a still-living Redwood with a concrete-statue-and-hidden-speaker homage to the properties of J.R.R. Tolkien. Reopened as hamburger cafe, the Hobbiton section long closed and overgrown.
- 1111 Avenue of the Giants, Phillipsville, CA
- A little over a mile south of Phillipsville on Hwy 254 - Avenue of the Giants.
Visitor Tips and News About Chimney Tree, Old Hobbiton USA Site
I visited Hobbiton USA in July 2015. The hillside is overgrown with weeds, but enough curious visitors still walk up the trail that a small path has been created. It goes past a couple of hobbit doors to Bag End, where I found no Bilbo, but did see the remains of Gandalf. His arm, hand, shoulder, and face were under a growth of weeds at his feet. Cement and chicken wire showed through. I fear what is left will not last long.
Further up the trail I saw the trolls and remains of speaker boxes, but I stopped when I saw a couple of homes.
I understand one reason the exhibit closed is because a mudslide wiped out half of it; another because ownership changed. Too bad.[Dennis, 11/06/2015]
The famous Chimney Tree and Chimney Tree Cafe are open. The tree itself is free to look at and the Cafe has burgers, sandwiches, salads, desserts, etc. Hobbiton, unfortunately, is still closed.[Matt, 07/30/2012]
If Hobbiton doesn't re-open along with Peter Jackson's film, it might be closed for good.
Hobbiton - Closed
Sadly, i have to report that Hobbiton is no longer open. It appears to have closed some time ago, and the inhabitants of the house above the property are not open to explorers. The gift shop area is closed and the Chimney Tree is in disrepair. In fact, many of the old redwood highway attractions are closed, or have seen better days.[jennifer, 08/12/2009]
Having read about Hobbiton USA, the story of The Hobbit constructed from cement dioramas out in the redwoods, we made it our goal to reach there before nightfall. We got there with plenty of daylight, but alas, it had already closed. Determined as we were to see the dioramas, we chose to hop the back fence and walk through the adventure.
The first diorama was of the end of the story. Cement Bilbo and cement Gandalf were looking off into the future. We pushed a button and there was a long delay -- so long we were sure it was broken, then a terrible loud voice from a speaker told us we had reached the end of the story.
We moved through the rest of the dioramas -- the Smaug the Dragon diorama, the giant spider -- they got shittier as we went along (they probably would have gotten better if we had gone through forward), but finally we came to Gollum peering out of the cave at us. We pushed the button, and then heard a man's voice say "Who's up there! I can hear you!" We ducked to hide but then the terrible narrator echoed from the bushes, talking about Gollum and pinpointing our location. We started to run.
We ran and ran until we came to the front of Hobbiton where a lady in a bathrobe came out of a trailer carrying a little dog. She chastised us for sneaking in without paying, then got all misty eyed when she asked if we thought it was beautiful. Then she told us we could go without paying, only we had to go NOW.
We ran and ran and could hear the man chasing us. We got in our car and sped away and saw him standing at the top of the hill, next to the Gandalf statue, shaking his gun. We drove as fast as we could. We will never forget Hobbiton, U.S.A.[Eva Anderson, 05/27/2004]
We had to chuckle at this account, but remind all that even Hobbiton USA is not worth dying for. Visit during normal hours -- and pay the admission!
The folk art attraction "Hobbiton" on the Avenue of the Giants has been vandalized. I've never been to this attraction before, but from the postcards it looks wonderful. It's a 20 minute walking tour complete with miniature towns, lakes, characters and scenes from Tolkien's "Hobbit." Some idiots vandalized it before it was set to open for this season. Sculptures are being repaired and repainted. They were reluctant to give a reopening date at the gift shop, but are determined to stay in business.
The Chimney Tree is still open.[L. Glicksman, 08/10/2001]
With recent Hollywood activity around J.R.R. Tolkien properties, Hobbiton would be smart to hold on and stay open for a few more years. Or at least have better timing than Ohio's Titanic Museum, which closed before the 1997 blockbuster movie "Titanic." Hobbiton was a stop on our Big Tree Drive Thru.