Where to Visit Myst Ages in Real Life


On a hike in South Carolina last weekend, I had the uncanny sensation of walking through my favorite world from Myst, the classic CD-ROM adventure game by Cyan, Inc.

Which got me thinking…where could I visit the other four ages in real life? What are the closest real-world approximations to Myst Island and the Stoneship, Mechanical, and Selenitic ages?

The Channelwood Age: Congaree National Park, SC


The resemblance is staggering. Congaree National Park, a few miles southeast of Columbia, SC, features a boardwalk trail through a verdant wetland filled with towering cypress trees. Add a few water valves, rope bridges, and treehouses, and you’ve got the Channelwood Age. Click here for more details and images.

Myst Island: Wizard Island, Crater Lake National Park, OR


It’s got everything. The conical peak, sloping profile, and coniferous trees. It just needs a few bizarre structures and the creepiest music of all time. I’m lucky enough to have visited Crater Lake in person, but the ferry to Wizard Island was closed during my trip.

The Mechanical Age: Maunsell Forts, UK


You may have seen these amazing ruins years ago on Robyn Miller’s blog. The forts pictured above are actually just one of seven complexes scattered across the southeastern coast of England, constructed during World War II.

The Selenitic Age: Cave of the Crystals, Mexico


They may not be rising out of the ocean off the coast of a desolate island, but these enormous selenite crystals are the namesake of the Selenitic Age. The largest crystal in the cave, where temperatures often reach over 130 degrees, is nearly 40 feet long.

The Stoneship Age: SS America Shipwreck, Canary Islands  


Well…it’s not a seventeenth-century galleon split into halves, but the eerie wreck of the SS America, surrounded by sharp black rocks, is the closest real-world analogy to the Stoneship Age I could find.

Ready to book a vacation yet? Sometime soon, I’ll take a look at where you can find the five islands of Riven in real life.


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