"Ghost Town Renegades" (1947) — Mushroom Rock, center
This is the classic view of Mushroom Rock, as seen in the Lash LaRue movie "Ghost Town Renegades." The heavily filmed rock was located on the Lower Iverson Movie Ranch, next to a road that was used repeatedly for essentially this same shot, with riders headed north on the road, riding toward the camera.
"The Lone Ranger" TV show (filmed in 1949)
Here's a rare occasion when the riders actually rode on the other side of Mushroom Rock — the east side. This shot comes from an episode of "The Lone Ranger" called "Buried Treasure," which premiered March 2, 1950 — midway through season one.
"Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1959)
In this shot Mushroom Rock is on the left, with Saucer toward the right. The scene is filmed from the south, a much less common angle. Here again, the rider has opted to bypass the main road to the west of Mushroom, just visible in the bottom left corner, and instead rides the road less traveled — between Mushroom and Saucer.
For several years now, it has been impossible to see the distinctive cap atop Mushroom Rock because it has been covered with foliage. I commented on this in a recent post, which you can read by clicking here.
Behold: A cleaner, meaner Mushroom Rock
Mushroom Rock has recently had a "haircut" and can now be seen again in much of its former splendor — possibly for the first time since the filming days.
Mushroom Rock's neighborhood, however, still leaves a lot to be desired. Before we jump to the conclusion that the "haircut" had anything to do with satisfying our aesthetic and nostalgic interest in the rock, the nearby trash bins and stockpiles of construction material might tend to quash such romantic notions.
I'll leave it to readers to come up with your own answers to the obvious question: Why the trim, and why now? The idealist in me still wants to believe someone is looking out for film history buffs and cut back the shrubbery to give us a better look at an old friend. But my cynical side argues that someone probably just wants to pile more junk in the area and the bushes were in the way.