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Itinerary: Movie Locations

Not all American movies are filmed on sets in Hollywood. Some of the most famous and memorable classics have been filmed on location within the region. Here’s a star-studded tour.

  • Sun Valley
  • Jackson Hole
  • Livingston
  • Virginia City
  • Billings
  • Lewiston
  • Gillette
  • Custer State Park
  • Spearfish Canyon
  • Badlands National Park
  • Rapid City
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Pierre
  • Wallace

Portions of this year’s block buster hit, the Wild Wild West, were filmed in Idaho. This broad remake of the popular TV series of the 60’s is a retro epic that mixes witty science fiction with hip-hop savior faire – all set in a western background. Many of the movie’s western scenes were shot in and around the Lewiston, Idaho area. According to the movie’s director Barry Sonnenfeld, “while not a traditional western, we definitely had to pay homage to the West’s beauty and grandeur”. Visitors to our region will have a chance to experience first hand some of the gorgeous scenery seen from the luxurious windows of the “Wanderer”, West and Gordon’s elegant railroad car.

Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer, was filmed in southern Montana. Redford and his crew filmed the movie in southern Montana at the base of the Absaroka and Beartooth Mountain Ranges. Visitors have a unique opportunity to experience Tom Booker’s (the skilled horse trainer in this western romance –the role played by Robert Redford) Montana through a stay at one of the many wonderful guest ranches in the region.

The Sun Valley area was the site of Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider. A slide show about the making of the movie can be seen at the Sawtooth National Recreation headquarters, north of Ketchum. Famous feature films and countless lesser-known films and commercials have been produced in Jackson Hole, including Shane, Spencer’s Mountain and Rocky IV. The westerns Missouri Breaks, Tom Horn and Rancho Deluxe, as well as the scenic spectacular A River Runs Through It and The Horse Whisperer were filmed in southwestern Montana.

Billings hosted the epics Son Of The Morning Star and Far and Away. Devils Tower, near Gillette, was the landing site for space aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The faces of Mount Rushmore played a pivotal role in North by Northwest. Badlands National Park was the site of the 1992 film, Thunderheart. A Man Called Horse and How The West Was Won were filmed at Custer State Park.

Rapid City, Spearfish Canyon and Pierre were the sites for the acclaimed Kevin Costner hit, Dances With Wolves. Portions of Starship Troopers were filmed on a private ranch in the Badlands of South Dakota, with a large portion filmed at Hell’s Half Acre in Casper, Wyoming.

Return to Lonesome Dove was filmed in Virginia rety. The whitewater action-adventure movie A River Wild was shot in Montana’s Flathead Valley. Dante’s Peak, the action film about a volcanic eruption, was shot in Wallace, Idaho.



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