MiniMac Visits The Mountain of Youth

Known most famously for being the Batcave entrance in the 60’s ‘Batman’ TV series, the Bronson caves also have a double connection with both generations of MacGyver. The caves and surrounding area were the primary filming location for the ‘Mountain of Youth’ episode in season 7 of the original series but was also used in the unaired pilot of the 2016 reboot series. 

Jump straight to the video and photo gallery

Nestled in an old rock quarry in an area known as Bronson Canyon just west of the Griffith Observatory, the man-made 15 metre long caves are a 10-minute walk from the main parking lot of the Hollywood sign hiking trail and run east to west through a narrow neck of the quarry hill. The caves are actually a tunnel through the hill and were originally made as part of a rock quarry operated by the Union Rock Company from 1903 to the late 1920’s which extracted and crushed rock to be used on railways and roads.  The caves became known as the Bronson Caves after a nearby street and eventually, the canyon was renamed to Bronson Canyon. The cave’s Hollywood career was kicked off in 1919 by the western movie, Lightning Bryce.

 

The caves as they appeared in the ‘Mountain of Youth’ episode

The cave was used in MacGyver’s ‘Mountain of Youth’ episode as the entrance to an underground Heavy Water Plant being used to make H bombs and was filmed from the east (or back) side which actually has 3 entrances where the cave breaks off into a couple of smaller tunnels, so because of this the camera angles have to be chosen carefully to not reveal the other entrances. The area hasn’t changed much since MacGyver filmed there other than the cave entrances becoming smaller due to erosion debris from the surrounding cliffs building up in all entrances.  The biggest change is a large rock spiral which has been build in the exact area where MacGyver filmed – in fact, some of the rocks seen in the shots are now part of the spiral. We don’t know who built the spirals or why, but they are an interesting and fun addition to the area.

 

The caves as seen in the unaired reboot pilot.

The second connection to MacGyver for these caves comes from the unaired pilot of the 2016 reboot in which the caves play the part of a Pakistani terrorist camp from which MacGyver escapes after being held captive for 5 years.  Like the original, the scenes were shot on the east side of the caves which has a more closed in “mountain valley” appearance and feel to it.

   

  
VIDEO:

 

GALLERY:

Photos  by: KiwiTek & DashboardOnFire

MiniMac explores the back area of the Bronson caves which has 3 exits.Minimac takes a look at the area where the 'Mountain of Youth' episode of MacGyver was filmed.The front entrance to the Bronson Caves was famously used as the entrance to the 60's TV show Batcave to show the Batmobile leaving and sometimes entering the secret cave hideaway.The front entrance to the Bronson Caves was famously used as the entrance to the 60's TV show Batcave to show the Batmobile leaving and sometimes entering the secret cave hideaway.The cave is nearly always filmed at an angle to prevent the viewers from seeing right through to the other side.The cave is nearly always filmed at an angle to prevent the viewers seeing right through to the other side.The entrances are getting smaller due to erosion debris from the surrounding cliffs building up in all the tunnel entrances.The road heading off to the right leads to the car parking area. This is also the road the Batmobile would been seen turning down as it left the main entrance of the cave in the 60's Batman TV show. Directly ahead is a small rock spiral recently made by some artistic visitors.This small rock spiral is located in the front area of the caves and was made by an unknown artist visitor.The cave is actually a 500 foot tunnel left behind from the rock quarry operation which created this canyon.The left smaller exit leads out to the rear canyon area from the caveThe caves are actually a tunnel left over from the old rock quarry days.The main rear exit plus the much smaller right hand exitThe left smaller exit at the back of the cavesThe back area of the cave splits off into 2 other smaller exitsThe right smaller exit of the back of the cave.The rough cliff edges are left behind from when the area was quarried from rocks to be used on railways and local roadsThis whole area was originally a rock quarry. The road leads around tot he back area area of the cavesThe back of the caves split into 3 exits with smaller exits on either side of the main. Is it just me or is that a face on the right?The Hollywood sign is clearly visible from this area requiring careful camera placement and angles when filming.This area has a perfect view of and trails leading up to, the Hollywood sign.This area was used to film the 'Mountain of Youth' episode from the original MacGyver and the cave scenes in the un-aired pilot of the 2016 reboot. The stone spiral is located exactly where scenes of MacGyver's 'Mountain of Youth' episode were filmedThis area was used in scenes for the 'Mountain of Youth' - long before the rock spiral was there.This area was used in scenes for the 'Mountain of Youth' - long before the rock spiral was there.The surrounding cliff faces still bear the scars of the rock quarry which created them.The scared cliff faces provide a dramatic and foreboding backdrop to film against.The jagged landscape around the caves gives a sense of wilderness.The caves are just behind those hills and off to the right... an easy 10 minute walk from here.The caves are an easy 10 minute walk from this parking area and suitable for family members of any age.Slightly ironic that a bear called 'Smokey' is warning not to smoke.

 


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*