Top 5 Roads Seen in Film
By: Good2GoPublished: July 27, 2016
People watch movies for all kinds of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that movies give us the feeling of “escape.” For a few hours, we get caught up in a plot and (almost) forget about our own issues. Instead of worrying about that overdue bill or your overflowing laundry basket, you can pretend you’re on the Millennium Falcon, laugh at Meg Ryan’s perpetually ironic love life, or act surprised when Adam Sandler gets the girl back at the end of the movie.
Movies can even show us real places in America we never knew existed. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 American Roads Seen in Film. Some of which you may be familiar with, and others that might make you say “Oh – I never knew THAT’S where they filmed that!” Sit back, grab the popcorn, and read about some of the coolest places you’ve seen on the silver screen.
The Shining- Glacier National Park, Montana
Heeeeeere’s Johnny! The movie’s opening credits scene, which follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) as he and his family drive up a winding road, was filmed at Glacier National Park in Montana. The actual name of the road they are driving is Going-to-the-Sun Road, and is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Here, you can view rugged, glacier-capped mountains, spectacular lakes, and pristine forests. The aerial shots used to depict The Overlook Hotel at the end of the scene are actually of the Timberline Lodge, a ski resort located on the south side of Mount Hood in Oregon that draws two million visitors annually. Although the infamous Room #237 from the movie does not exist at the Timberline Lodge, guests request room #217 more often than any other room, which is the number used in King’s novel.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
Red Rock Canyon, which features a one-way 13-mile scenic drive through the desert, is the same place Johnny Depp deemed “bat country.” The film, which is adapted from Hunter S. Thompson’s book of the same name, follows two men on their psychedelic road trip through the Nevada desert. Although the film was considered a box office failure, it managed to capture the hearts of many as a “cult classic” and got some great shots of the Red Rock Canyon. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159, and is visited by more than two million people each year, who come to see colorful rock formations and for excellent climbing and hiking opportunities.
Mulholland Drive – Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles
David Lynch is not a man for the mundane. Sometime after Twin Peaks and Eraserhead, Lynch wrote and directed Mulholland Drive, starring Naomi Watts and Justin Theroux and landed Lynch an Oscar nomination. However, the film is named after a real road in Los Angeles. And while car-crashes leading to psychological thrillers might not happen there often, it is considered to have one of the best views of the San Fernando Valley and LA’s Hollywood sign.
PeeWee’s Big Adventure- Interstate 10 in Cabazon, CA
The Cabazon Dinosaurs can be seen while riding to and from Palm Springs along Interstate 10 in California. So, if you’re on a big adventure of your own, stop by and tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya!
The 150-ton Brontosaurus and 100-ton Tyrannosaurus rex structures are not only seen in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, but also in music videos, commercials, and even the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out.
Thelma and Louise- Unaweep Canyon, Colorado
Fire up the 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible and head west this summer to recreate one of the most awesome road trips of all time. But, hopefully your trip will be more of a vacation and less of a run from the law, like Thelma and Louise. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis co-starred in a film that revolutionized road trip films and stood as a testament for feminists everywhere. A majority of Thelma and Louise was filmed along Colorado State Highway 141, which runs through the Unaweep Canyon. Aside from its sweeping views of western Colorado, the Unaweep Canyon is unique because two creeks, the East Creek and the West Creek, flow out of opposite ends of the canyon.
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