I think we can all agree that the Mojave desert is home to some pretty weird “attractions”. Afterall, scattered across the desert is an outdoor belgian ghost sculpture museum, a 101-year-old biker bar, and a neon sign graveyard. And who can forget the “car forest“?
Well, one of the weirder ones is The Bottle Tree Ranch near Victorville, California. You can stop by and check it out if you’re driving from LA to Las Vegas, as it’s just off the I-15 (about 20 minutes West of the 15). That’s exactly what I did a few weekends ago.
It was spooky because the day I visited, no one was there and a storm was blowing in. It was dark and desolate and the fact that there were mounted machine guns, rusted rifles and wind chimes made from animal bones didn’t help the creep factor much. It looked like the set of a horror movie.
The 200-tree “forest” was built 14 years ago by a man named Elmer Long. As the story goes, Elmer and his father had always had a fascination with glass bottles, so when his father died, leaving Elmer with his bottle collection, Elmer decided to put them on display. Hence, the bottle forest was born.
The bottle forest is located in the owner’s front yard but its open to visitors during the daylight hours. There isn’t an entry fee, although a sign encourages visitors to leave a donation in the tip box. The Bottle Tree Ranch is located on Route 66 in Ore Grande, California (about three hours south of Las Vegas and an hour north of Anaheim, California). It’s a great place to visit if you’re into photography or weird roadside attractions. I’m very much into both!