A Complete List: The Most Popular Movies Filmed In Utah
Utah is gorgeous and Hollywood loves to come here and film. Utah is very diverse in scenery so you can get totally different looking backgrounds while only traveling an hour one way or the other. From the snowy peaks along the Wasatch Front and the brighter than day salt flats, to the red rocks and arches of southern Utah, there is plenty of unique beauty to capture in film. That diversity creates beautiful shots AND keeps the budget in check. Here are some of the coolest movies and locations filmed in Utah.
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah is the location of several movie clips. Here are 3 of the most notable.
#1 Pirates Of The Caribbean: At Worlds End 2007
The Black Pearl is beached on the Bonneville Salt Flats. (It's actually a 24 foot miniature.) See the Crab scene here: Capitan Jack Sparrow on the Bonneville Salt Flats
#2 Independence Day 1996 Will Smiths character drags an alien in a parachute through the desert. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the areas of the world where the ground is brighter than the sky at noon day.
#3 Independence Day: Resurgence 2016 The Final showdown was filmed on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I knew this franchise was coming back. I just didn't think I would have to wait 20 YEARS for the sequel.
As I was doing this list it was hard to cut it down to the most popular, because there were just so many movies film in Utah. It was awesome.
The Sandlot 1993 was filmed almost entirely in Utah. Many scenes were filmed in Ogden, Rose Park, Glendale and American Fork. The ball diamond where Benny, Scotty, Ya Ya, Squints and the team played, was on Glenrose Drive in Salt Lake City, Utah. Other places in Utah that were used in the film were, Vincent Drug in Midvale, Valley Vista Park Community Pool in Ogden, and a city park in American Fork.
Forrest Gump 1994 running scene where he decided he was done running was in Monument Valley, Utah. There was a classic line that came right after Forrest Gump told the audience that he had run for 3 years, 2 months 14 days and 16 hours. He turned to the group running with him, his followers, and said, " I'm Pretty tired. Think I'll go home now."
Dumb and Dumber 1994 was filmed throughout northern Utah. Many scenes were filmed in Park City, Heber, Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. The mini-bike ride through ‘Aspen’ was shot on Main Street, Park City in Utah. According to Movie-Locations.com, the ‘Snowy Owl Benefit’ was filmed in the 1909 Union Pacific Railroad Depot, now reborn as live music venue The Depot, 400 West South Temple, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The ‘Aspen’ chalet and the home of baddie Nicholas Andre (Charles Rocket) both filmed in Dee Valley, adjoining Park City, Utah.
Most interiors were filmed, by the way, in Intermountain Studios, Orem in Utah, the studio built by The Osmonds for The Donnie and Marie Osmond Show.
National Treasure 2004. The "Arctic" in the film is actually Strawberry Reservoir in Utah in winter, so it was frozen over. Check these scenes out.
Footloose 1984 had parts filmed at the Lehi Roller Mill in Lehi, Utah. Here is the classic Footloose dance scene. Go Kevin Bacon, go!
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade 1989 filmed some parts in Arches National Park/Moab, Utah. This is a cool video breaking down scene by scene where each location was. Pretty informative.
Zion National Park is the #1 filmed national park in the USA. Filming in the wild west started more than a century ago and the southern Utah area is still just as popular today. Here are 4 notable movies using Zion as the backdrop.
#1 Billy The Kid 1930 is filmed in Zion and all over the surrounding area. The True WILD WILD WEST.
#2 Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid 1969. Check out all of these clips from the movie. We live in GORGEOUS country. ♥
#3 Romancing The Stone 1984. Joan Wilders novel was set in the wild west, AKA Zion National Park and surrounding areas.
#4 Jewel Of The Nile 1985. Several scenes were shot in Zion National Park. Can you spot them?
This is not by any means an exhaustive list, but it does show the natural beauty and vast landscapes throughout Utah.
The state of Utah has so many diverse landscapes that it's appeal to Hollywood film makers can be traced back for more than a century. If you check out the Utah Film Commission website many of the 1st page options are right here in southern Utah! The first row of options of places to film include Sand Hollow State Park, Pioneer Park in St. George and Gunlock State Park Falls - Spring. We live in a gorgeous area with National and State Parks surrounding us.
The state of Utah has a whole board of people advertising the fact that there are many gorgeous places in Utah for the film industry to use in film. Right now they are marketing a whole tour throughout the state of places Thelma and Louise stopped and were filmed in the 1991 film. Here is what the state website says about the tour:
"Thelma & Louise: A Tribute Road Trip Through the Classic Film’s Utah Settings
This itinerary brings a whole new meaning to hitting the open road. Perfect for fans of the beloved film “Thelma & Louise,” tour the exact places where the movie was shot, and make some memories of your own exploring the beauty of this exquisite desert. You can go high-adventure and rough it, or stay in plush lodging with wine pairings at dinner — whatever you and your closest posse are seeking." You can check out all of the details here: Thelma & Louise Tour
The #1 National Park film location is in Utah and it is Zion National Park. One of the first films I remember my grandma watching was the 1930 Billy The Kid filmed in Zion. The intrigue for the wild west happened long ago and still continues today.
Some of the most filmed places in Utah are found in southern Utah. Many film makers have chosen Arches National Park (above), Moab (below) and Dead Horse Point Overlook (article cover) to feature in their films. Those are just the areas with the most credits to their name.
There are over 200 pages of movie credits that include places in Utah. You can check out the list here: Films shot in Utah With so many modern movies to chose from we almost forget that a lot of the older westerns were filmed in Kanab Utah. Kanab was called 'Utah's Little Hollywood.'
With too many Westerns to name filmed in Kanab over the years; here is a small sampling of titles filmed there, Western Union (1940), The Desperadoes (1943), Smoky (1946), Black Bart (1948), Green Grass of Wyoming (1948), Calamity Jane and Sam Bass (1949), Sierra (1950), The Outriders (1950), and Westward the Women (1951).
Another classic film that was set in southern Utah was Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Filming meandered through southern Utah and hit places like Snow Canyon State Park, the City of St George and Zion National Park as well. You can check out the Utah Film Commission's itinerary road trip right here: Butch Cassidy Road Trip
Next up I will do an article on the most famous and iconic movies to be filmed in Utah. Be watching for that. It is a nostalgic list of some big time Hollywood names and films to showcase Utah's beauty and history.