Choctaw Cultural Center
Paragon transformed Top of the Rock's 2.5 mile nature trail journey into an amazing Christmas experience.
The Magic of Christmas
Top of the Rock has been transformed for the Christmas season with the Lost Canyon Christmas outdoor nature trail. The 2.5-mile trail features multiple scenes honoring Native Americans in an Ozarks winter wonderland, illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights nestled in the trees. As visitors travel along the paved golf cart path, they can enjoy hot chocolate and breathtaking views of handcrafted bridges, cascading waterfalls, cliffs, and holiday scenes.
"Connection was the primary driving concept behind the Lost Canyon Christmas experience," said Melody Matheny, the attraction designer. "Our goal was to allow guests to be inspired and come away with a deeper understanding of the natural world around them, what makes this place so special, and how they are directly connected to it."
"There is so much to celebrate this time of year," said John Mikolajczyk, director of operations for the Johnny Morris Foundation. “Lost Canyon Christmas features seasonal holiday traditions, along with honoring the great outdoors with special sculptures that celebrate animals, water, the earth and how we are all connected. Guests experience the cave trail in an all new, never before way that we hope will become a new family tradition during the holidays here in the Ozarks.”
"Connection was the primary driving concept behind the Lost Canyon Christmas experience. Our goal was to allow guests to be inspired and come away with a deeper understanding of the natural world around them, what makes this place so special, and how they are directly connected to it."
Custom-Built, Installed with Care
Paragon Fabrication spent almost three months creating the vision dreamed up by designer Melody Matheny. The challenge of fabricating elements that matched the existing majesty of the lost canyon trail was equaled by the task of installation across the rugged Ozarks terrain. Paragon 360 spent 3 weeks using construction equipment, heavy machinery, and a variety of lifts along the narrow paths and steep hill sides. Some of the elements were installed in areas where rock climbing and zip lines were the only access. Custom engineered rigging was required for the stalactite Christmas trees in the cave.
The custom fabricated elements created scenes that pulled inspiration from traditional Christmas elements, while honoring the local Native American history while also giving tribute to the military community. Replica native American art, spears, bead patterns, drums, teepee, and silhouettes created multiple scenes for visitors to enjoy. Life size internally lit elk, reindeer and bear light up the Ozarks rock outcrops as they cast reflections across a waterfall and cascade pools. A custom wood plank Christmas tree and hand carved Santa create more traditional Christmas scenes. Aluminum stalagmites suspended 60' foot in the air create a one of a kind experience as you drive through the cave and around the waterfall. In the main ticketing and lobby area, an internally and externally lit faux aged metal ribbon surrounds a 16-foot tall tree. Paragon also built a 120-foot long, waved American flag that stands 9' feet tall and service branch Christmas tree toppers as a tribute to the military community.
Creating Lasting Memories
"Christmas time in the Ozarks is unlike any other," said Bryan Nadeau, Vice President of Operations for the Johnny Morris Foundation Conservation Attractions. "Come together with the people you love and create those everlasting memories by starting a new holiday tradition at Top of the Rock. Be surrounded by family and the great outdoors, while feeling more connected to those of the area that came before us at Lost Canyon Christmas.”