7 Movies Shot In National Parks That You Can Actually Visit
Camp, hike, and backpack through some of this generation’s most iconic film spots in our Public Lands!
Grand Teton National Park, WY - Photo Credit: Sharon Berardino
Have you ever dreamt of traveling to the deserts of Tatooine? Do you think your outdoor skills could take you far in the Hunger Games? Want to follow Rocky’s Siberian training regimen, one montage at a time? In this list, we explore seven iconic movie locations filmed in national parks, forests, and other public lands that you can go out and visit right now!
Seneca Creek State Park, MD - Photo Credit: G. Edward Johnson
‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999 | Horror)
Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland
Seneca Creek State Park is a different kind of overnight experience. Those who feel brave enough can explore over 50 miles of trails that the Blair Witch calls home. In past years, local rangers have hosted “Blair Witch Heritage Hikes” that take fans through some of the movie’s spookier sites.
Pisgah National Forest, NC - Photo Credit: Natalie Runnerstrom
‘The Hunger Games’ (2012 | Dystopian)
North Fork Reservoir & Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
This Reservoir houses the island that served as the starting location for the 74th Hunger Games. While the public cannot visit the iconic site of the cornucopia, the surrounding lands remain open for a full Hunger Games survival experience. To the Southwest, you can explore the same woods the protagonists grew up and refined their hunting skills in at Pisgah National Forest.
Death Valley National Park, CA - Photo Credit: Ankit Jain
‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ (1977 | Sci-Fi)
Death Valley National Park, California
Although visiting a distant planet may not be achievable in the near future, you can take yourself on a makeshift trip to the desert planet of Tatooine in Death Valley National Park in California. This served as the home of Luke Skywalker, and was the place he received his first lightsaber. NPS.gov features a great list of some of the more accessible filming locations throughout the park.
Fort Wetherill State Park, RI - Photo Credit: K Rafanelli
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (2012 | Comedy)
Fort Wetherill State Park, Rhode Island
New England gets the Wes Anderson treatment in this classic love story. Fort Wetherill State Park hosts the beach dubbed the ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ that the film is named after. This secluded spot just outside Newport, Rhode Island is a must for a romantic getaway - just make sure you let people know you’re leaving.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, WY - Photo Credit: Brett Stanton
‘El Camino’ (2019 | Drama)
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming
Bridger-Teton National Forest plays the part of Jesse Pinkman’s dream destination of Alaska in this movie. The cold environment and the 3.4 million acres of public lands made it a perfect fit to film for the sequel to Breaking Bad - and a bit more cost-effective than filming on-site in Alaska, as the budget for this Netflix-only fan service epilogue was only $6 million. (In contrast, the average cost of production per episode of Breaking Bad was around $3 million each)
Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge, HI - Photo Credit: Bret Robertson
‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981 | Adventure)
Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii
Indy’s great expedition in search of a golden idol was shot on the island of Kauai, including the famous scene of Indiana Jones fleeing from a boulder. The Refuge is currently closed to preserve endangered species, but the area can still be viewed from the Alakoko Fishpond. Other blockbusters filmed on the island of Kauai include Jurassic Park, Avatar, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Grand Teton National Park, WY - Photo Credit: Chris Blake
‘Rocky IV’ (1985 | Sports/Drama)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
The iconic training montage from arguably the best installment of the Rocky franchise (best villain anyway) was not actually filmed in Siberia as the movie portrayed, but instead on location throughout Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Silly Ivan Drago’s advanced training techniques in the gym proved to be no match in the ring for Rocky’s manhandling of the park’s innocent logs.
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