Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is a delightful roadside attraction on old Route 66 in southern California. It’s wonderfully weird and very much worth a stop if you’re traveling between Los Angeles and Las Vegas!
This is one of those places that use to get a lot more traffic, but has been forgotten now that Route 66 is no longer the superhighway it once was.
What to Expect
Essentially, a forest of bottle trees. The place was bigger than I thought it would be with probably a hundred or so “trees”. Most are super old and rusty and there is also a variety of other random “junk” which has artfully repurposed such as sewing machines, airplane parts, and riffles.
- Cost: Free
- Crowd Factor: Light
- Time: 15-30mins
The forest is out on the front “yard” of Elmer’s home, so be respectful as he does live here. If the gates are open, walk on in. He created the ranch with his father just by going out into the desert and collecting whatever interesting pieces they found and bringing them home. His father has since died, but Elmer is still around and is happy to talk to anyone stopping by.
Directions to Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch
The ranch is between Victorville and Barstow just off Route 15 on the way to/from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. You’ll have to get off Route 15 in either Victorville or Barstow and continue along the old Route 66, which isn’t terribly well maintained in order to get to the ranch.
- Address24266 National Trails Hwy, Oro Grande, CA 92368
- From Los Angeles: it’s 2 hours – take the 5 North or 210 West until you get to Route 15. Exit in Victorville, and follow Route 66 North
- From Las Vegas: it’s 2.5 hours – take Route 15 West. Exit at Barstow and follow Route 66 South.