Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
• Readers can email the webmaster at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Off the Beaten Path: A visit to Pioneertown turns up a clump of famous movie rocks

Pioneertown, Calif.

The Western town at Pioneertown, Calif., built around 1946, is one of only a handful of old Western movie town sets still standing. But in my eyes the most impressive historical artifacts in the Pioneertown area are the magnificent rock formations surrounding the town.

"Silver Canyon" (1951) — rock clump near Pioneertown

Just back from my first visit to Pioneertown, I checked my archives and found this beauty — a screen shot from the Gene Autry B-Western "Silver Canyon." Autry was a key player in the early movie and TV history of the Pioneertown area.

This is a shot of the same rock clump taken during a road trip over the weekend. This spectacular group of rocks and countless similar rock features are spread all around the area, mile after mile — a lot of needles in that haystack and a small miracle to match one up. We happened upon this bad boy after a random right turn on a barely noticeable dirt road. In other instances spectacular rock features can be found right on the highway.

Here's another beauty in the Pioneertown area — this one is next to the highway, probably less than two miles north of the Western town. Have you seen this group of rocks in an old movie or TV show? I haven't spotted it yet, but I have a feeling it will turn up. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, please leave a comment if you've seen this one or any other noteworthy formations.

Off the Beaten Path is a series of posts that are not specifically focused on the Iverson Movie Ranch. Typically they spotlight another filming location in Southern California. You can go directly to the Off the Beaten Path posts by looking up the term in the long index of labels at the right of the page, or by clicking here (recommended!).


texascom said...

I've been watching a lot of Cisco Kid episodes lately and it appears to have been filmed in this rocky landscape, but I'm confused because I see a lot of Joshua trees in the show and I think Pioneertown is out of the range of this tree.

Swami Nano said...

Howdy, texascom ...

Thanks for your comment. Sorry I didn't reply earlier ... I'm afraid you got lost in the shuffle of an obsessed movie location researcher's all too busy schedule. (So many rocks, so little time ...)

I don't know about the range of the Joshua tree, but I do know that Pioneertown isn't far from Joshua Tree National Park. Google Maps puts them about 16 miles apart, with Pioneertown and the town of Joshua Tree even closer, at about 12 miles.

I've noticed that same rocky landscape in "Cisco Kid." I wish I knew more about where the TV show was shot, and I hope to explore it in detail at some point. In a purely general sense, I've heard that some filming for movies and Western TV shows was done in the vicinity of Joshua Tree. I believe the terrain is pretty similar between Pioneertown and Joshua Tree.

It's a huge area with that same general type of terrain, which makes it really hard to find specific formations.

I'm going to keep in mind what you said about the range of the trees — that could prove to be really helpful in trying to pin down more of these locations.