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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Classic Rock: Hawk Rock

This blog entry is part of a series on "Classic Rocks" — rocks located on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., that were featured in old movies, cliffhanger serials and early TV shows.

Hawk Rock, in modern times, as seen from Garden of the Gods

Hawk Rock, named for its appearance in "The Hawk of Powder River" (1948), is a cool rock, and another one that displays a range of personalities when seen from various angles. It's one of the easiest Iverson Movie Ranch rocks to find, located right beside Redmesa Road just north of Santa Susana Pass Road. Above is the "fierce side" of Hawk Rock, as seen from inside Garden of the Gods.

Hawk Rock, in modern times, as seen from Redmesa Road

Here's a look at Hawk Rock from the opposite side, as it appears from Redmesa Road. This is the more common view, and the first side most people would see of the rock on a visit to Iverson. When I first spotted it there I thought it looked goofy, and I initially called it Goofyhead. I later learned it already had a name, Hawk Rock, which now seems more fitting.

"Stagecoach" (1939)

Sadly, this is the aspect of Hawk Rock that was captured in one of its most high-profile film appearances — little more than an anonymous pillar. It's the tower sticking up at the top of the shot, near the center, just to the left of the rider holding up a rifle. When I first spotted this image in the John Ford classic "Stagecoach," something about that tower resonated. It occurred to me that it might be Hawk Rock (I was still calling it Goofyhead then) because I had seen the rock from more or less that angle while walking on the sidewalk along Redmesa Road. I tried to duplicate the angle in a photo but initially was unable to convince myself the "Stagecoach" shot was Hawk Rock.

This is the "Stagecoach" shot again, with Hawk Rock pointed out.

"King of the Cowboys" (1943)

Things came together when I found this similar image, taken essentially from the same "Stagecoach" angle, in the Roy Rogers B-Western "King of the Cowboys." The Republic production, directed by Iverson regular Joseph Kane and filmed by one of the great Iverson cinematographers, Reggie Lanning, contains only a tiny bit of Iverson footage. But this was an important clip, as it provided a better look at the surrounding rocks.

Hawk Rock in modern times, from the "King of the Cowboys" angle

Here's my attempt to shoot Hawk Rock in recent times from the approximate angle used in "King of the Cowboys" and "Stagecoach." On close examination the rocks to the left of Hawk Rock match those in the two movies, which erased any remaining doubts.

The list below provides a sampling of the productions in which Hawk Rock appears:

"The Gambling Terror" (1937)
"Stagecoach" (1939)
"Zorro's Fighting Legion" (1939)
"Southward Ho" (1939)
"King of the Cowboys" (1943)
"Raiders of Ghost City" (1944)
"The Hawk of Powder River" (1948)
"The Lone Ranger" (TV series, 1949-1957)
"The Roy Rogers Show" (TV series, 1951-1957)


Stacia said...

Ah ha! I've been reading your blog off and on all day, going through posts to see if I would recognize an area of Iverson Movie Ranch from scenes in Raiders of Ghost City (I'm recapping episodes on my blog) and finally I found one! Just last week I noted that I thought a scene was filmed at Corrigan that I now think was at Doglips, after seeing your posts.

Terrific site! Love it!

Swami Nano said...

Thanks for your comment, Stacia. I just visited your blog and can I just say wow! What a great site. I hope you don't mind if I point my readers to

Glancing at your screen shots, you definitely have some Iverson posted. The last shot for Chapter 5, where Steve has been lasso'd offa his horse, shows a well-known Upper Iverson rock everyone calls the Molar, which is just below and to the right of Steve. The Molar still stands, but boy is it hard to get to these days.

I can't immediately pinpoint the shootout between Steve and Idaho and the two henchmen, but I'd be willing to bet at least the second photo is Iverson. Since I saw your stuff I'm gonna hafta break out that DVD again -- it's been about four years since I scanned it.

The serial definitely has Hawk Rock and Doglips, and plenty more, including Lone Ranger Rock, Nyoka Cliff ... and some less established rocks like Bald Knob. That's all just in the Gorge and just in the first chapter.

Thanks again -- and keep up the nice work.