42 votes

World's Largest Totem Pole

1503 City Center Rd, McKinleyville, California 95519 USA

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“also the coolest and most hip totem pole”

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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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
March 25, 2016
Rated 3.0

Quick photo op

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 16 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful
October 16, 2015
Rated 3.0

Its a cool photo-op but not an impressive area. Its is located in a Safeway shopping center. No cool souvenir shops where you can get a tiny replica or postcard, which I was hoping for. It basically sits in a back corner. But dont worry, its huge and you cant miss it.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 10 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
July 23, 2015
Rated 3.0

Cool to see. Just its a cool photo opp. I suggest getting off hwy 101 off at school street.
It's in the middle of a little store plaza.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 25 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
April 15, 2015
Rated 5.0

This is in a random spot but fun to see and take pics

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 95 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
April 22, 2021
Rated 4.0

Fun to see. Literally a 5 minute stop, if you get out of the car. It's right next to the Safeway grocery store. It's pretty darn big. Hard to get a photo of it all. We parked across the lot to get a photo.

Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area, but not worth going out of your way for.

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World's Largest Totem Pole

1503 City Center Rd
McKinleyville, California
95519 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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