The area of Pescadero Point known as Ghost Tree derives its name from the white and gnarly local cypress trees in the area which call to mind ghosts or witches. Foresters predict that the few still living cypress trees will soon join their ghostly brethren due to a blight of beetles that will kill much of the cypress and pine in California over the next 20 years.
Legend tells of a particular spooky tree in the bunches that grace the coastline of swanky Pebble Beach. Supposedly the image of a “Lady in Lace” has often been spotted on dark foggy nights near the famed Ghost Tree, upsetting the motorists who are said to have seen her walking down the center of the 17 Mile Drive.
One theory, among believers, suggests that the ghostly figure is Dona Maria, who once owned much of what is now Pebble Beach. Perhaps the Lady in Lace is just surveying her vast property. However, as more sightings are made, others continue to speculate about the lady’s identity. Some people who have seen the Lady in Lace think she is wearing a wedding dress. Her sadness leads people to speculate that she is a jilted bride moping for all eternity. (Another less ethereal explanation is that these are optical illusions created by fog and refracted light.)
More recently, a legendary surfer drowned near the Ghost Tree while attempting to paddle into the massive waves. The infamous wave and the entire surfing area has now become known as Ghost Tree. When locals catch a good wave there, they often remark, “The Ghost Tree is with us today.”
The Ghost Tree is often confused with possibly the most photographed tree in the world, the Lone Cypress, which is located a few paces down the road. Unfortunately, the Lone Cypress is mostly made of cement today. Pebble Beach has put up wooden markers to designate which is which and you get a guide book when you enter Pebble Beach that calls out all points of interest.
Know Before You Go
Located at Pescadero Point, number 17 on the 17 Mile Drive points of interest map.