McKinleyville Totem Pole, McKinleyville

Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Hi! I'm the World's Largest Totem Pole. I was once a living tree, standing in a grove of redwoods for 500 years before I was harvested by the Pacific Lumber Co.

Ernest Pierson then carved me into a totem pole in 1962 for his new shopping center in McKinleyville. I stand 160 feet tall and weigh 57,000 lbs. I'm grounded in a base that weighs 214,000 lbs, so don't worry about me falling over.

Some people mistakenly refer to me as the World's Tallest Totem Pole. I'm not. There are taller ones out there. Please note that when Ernie carved the giant plaque at my base, he didn't use the word "Tallest." He called me the "Largest." Given that I'm carved from a giant old-growth redwood, I'll wager that I am, in fact, the "largest" totem pole in the world.

I'm also the "Coolest and Most Hip Totem Pole In the World" thanks to the contributions of artist Duane Flatmo. In the late 1990s, Flatmo was brave enough to climb into a bosun's chair, scale to the top, and give me a new paint job. If you look at all the characters on me, I'm really half Pierson, half Flatmo.

I spend my days and nights watching over McKinleyville. Every year I let Santa know who's been naughty or nice.
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McKinleyville Totem Pole reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
49 reviews
  • This is a old totem pole and the only one in McKinleyville, Ca. It is a nice place to take pictures and hide painted rocks.  more »
  • Very cool totem pole, but in a shopping center(basically) . So not like there is stuff to do along with seeing the pole.
  • Very cool spot. Definitely something to stop and see.

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