The hobbit, new zealand, hiking, cinema

These 7 famous movie hikes will take your filmic fandom to the next level

Words: Jason Wolf
Photography: Wikimedia

These epic hikes are for those rare people who are both cinephiles and adventurers

Principal photography might have wrapped years ago on these movies, but many of cinema’s most famous filming locations in the wild still exist today, preserved for the rambunctious tourist who likes to combine their hikes with a bit of history.

Better yet, if your friends, family or significant other couldn’t be paid to hike with you, the lure of a famous location may just be the incentive future adventurers need. Here are seven epic hikes and vacation destinations that will allow you to explore iconic movie landscapes while putting in the miles.

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The Middle-Earth Tour – The Lord Of The Rings
cinema, adventure, hiking, travel

© Flickr/Adam Purves

Die-hard fans of The Lord Of The Rings movies know that the franchise was largely shot amidst the astonishing topographies of New Zealand. The Middle-Earth Tour provides guided walks around various pockets of the mesmerising landscape, as well as some of the remaining set pieces. Fans will also get to view the artwork, costuming and prop design created for the movies. This tour features an eclectic mix of sight-seeing, hiking, even helicoptering. 

The Pacific Crest Trail – Wild
wilderness, mountains, hiking

© Flickr/Bureau of Land Management 

Wild, a film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book starring Reese Witherspoon, recounts one woman’s 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail. In total, the PCT is over 2,600 miles long and stretches from Mexico to Canada. Fans and hikers are invited to traipse the very trails that Cheryl did and share a journey of self-discovery that is painted with the lush perspective of California and Oregon.

Field of Dreams
sports, baseball, tour

© Wikimedia

If you’re seeking a nostalgic road trip, you might want to consider trucking to the American state of Iowa, where the baseball field and home from the Best Picture-nominated film Field Of Dreams still stands. You can watch ball games played by the ‘Team Of Dreams’ before taking a guided tours of the house on the edge of the field and enjoying a movie-themed Ghost Comedy Show. You can even charge into the corn fields while hollering, “I’m melting!” This one’s really worth going the distance – you’ll get a hit of Americana paired with some wine from one of the regions many vineyards.

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Homestead Crater – 127 Hours

What do you think? Soak, snorkel or scuba? How would you spend your day in the #crater? #homesteadresortut

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Hike any of the 19 miles of trails of the Dutch Hollow trail system in Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway, Utah, and then soothe the muscles by going for a swim in the natural hot spring at the Homestead Resort as seen in the movie 127 Hours, which sees James Franco plummeting from a high rock crevice into the water below. This subterranean pool comprised of natural mineral water is made available by the resort for therapeutic swims.  

Mayan Temple Ruins – Star Wars
temple, travel, hiking

© Flickr/TausP.

The rebel base on Yavin IV from the original Star Wars was shot on location at the Mayan temple ruins in Guatemala’s Tikal National Park. Tourists are welcome to venture far, far away into the mountainous forests of Guatemala and explore archaeological sites that capture impressive stone structures and stairways left by the once-flourishing Mayan society. Just try to refrain from making Darth Vader or light saber sound effects while trekking through the historic remains.

Malibu Creek State Park – M*A*S*H
movie, mash, hiking trail

© Wikimedia

One of the longest running and most beloved sitcoms in television history wasn’t filmed in Korea, but the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. The same goes for the movie that preceded it. It’s a five-mile return hike to the M*A*S*H site, where vehicles, tents and that famous sign post remain. Better yet, along the way there’s a perfect spot for swimming and countless other famous filming locations all detailed at the visitor centre mid-hike.

Paramount Movie Ranch – Westworld
west world, paramount, cinema, film

© Flickr/Edward Stojakovic

Most recently remembered as The Sunken City in hit HBO series Westworld, the Paramount Movie ranch and its 2,700 acres have been the location for countless award-winning films and television series since 1927 – from The African Queen to Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and Van Helsing. The town is just the gateway to miles of trails across the plains and into the mountains. It’s set in the beautiful scenery just north-west of Los Angeles – perfect for hikes.

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