Our first day had MiniMac meeting with Patrick O’Riley from the Phoenix Foundation Podcast who had agreed to drive us out to the Vasquez Rocks area which was the filming location for the opening shots of ‘Last Stand’ and the entire ‘To Be A Man’ episode. We also planned to visit the nearby Agua Dulce Airport which was the main filming location for ‘Last Stand’ with plans of more photos and lunch in the cafe and maybe replicate some scenes from the episode.
The Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is located in the Agua Dulce area about 30 minutes north of LA and is possibly the most filmed rock area in the world with hundreds of shows and movies having filmed scenes on and around the rocks starting as far back as the 1930’s where the rocks made regular appearances in western movies and have since been used as everything from desert backdrops to alien planets and even appeared in animated form in Pixar’s ‘Cars’ movie’
The park covers a total of 932 acres (377 hectares) with many rock formations scattered throughout, all of which were forged by tectonic activity from the Elkhorn Fault (an offshoot of the San Andreas Fault) which runs through the park. Many of the formations can be seen in the “To Be A Man’ episode which was filmed entirely in this area. The footage for the opening of ‘Last Stand’ shows the large rock formations to the left of the main rock and included the road which leads to the main car parking area – had the camera panned to the right a little more in that shot we would have seen the famous peeks of the main rock.
Once there we made our way through the parks unique landscape to eventually arrive at the main parking lot which is right in front of the famous and largest rock. The size of this 150 foot tall rock can’t really be appreciated until your standing in front of it and it’s then that you get a sense of the history associated with the rock and area.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the rocks are completely accessible by the public. Somehow I was expecting them to be closed off and only viewed from a distance like well preserved artifacts of the entertainment world waiting for their next appearance, but instead we found people were free to climb all over them, some had even climbed to the top of the tallest and very steepest peek – something none of use were keen to attempt.
We also found local remote control 4×4 clubs used the area for testing their RC Rock Crawlers on various locations around the rocks which provide a rage of surfaces and terrain for them to practice on.
Once we left the Rocks we headed for the nearby Agua Dulce Airport, which was the main filming location for Last Stand, with intentions of more photos and hoping to have some lunch in the cafe and maybe replicate some scenes. Unfortunately we found it’s a private airport and closed off to the public. The closest we could get was the locked gate at the edge of the property.
A huge thanks to Patrick for driving us out there!
Photos by: KiwiTek & DashboardOnFire