Moab History & Museums: Moab Movies, Utah Films

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Moab in Film

Moab’s scenic redrock canyons and sweeping high desert mesas are among the most beautiful places on the planet. It’s no wonder the area has a long history as a filming location for a variety of Hollywood movies. Read More

  • The first film shot in Moab was Wagonmaster in 1949,
  • Other films shot here include City Slickers II, Thelma and Louise, and Mission Impossible 2.
  • Some of the more prominent filming locations include include Dead Horse State Park, Island in the Sky in Canyolands National Park, Onion Creek, Fisher Towers, Kane Creek, Monument Valley, and the La Sal Mountains.

Overview

Since Wagonmaster was first shot in Moab in 1949, the area has played host to dozens of films in all genres and styles. From spaghetti westerns, to science fiction epics, to comedies, to dramas, it’s all been filmed here in Moab.

Looking to get a behind the scenes look at these scenic locations? We’ve put together a list of some of the highlights.

Prominent Films Made in Moab

  • Wagonmaster
    This is the film that began Moab’s long history as a filming location. Released in 1949, the film starred Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, and Harry Carey, Jr. It was filmed at Hole-in-the-rock as well as around the San Juan River.
  • Rio Grande
    One of John Wayne’s most memorable roles. The movie was released in 1950 and also starred Maureen O’Hara, and Harry Carey, Jr. Filming locations include White’s Ranch and Onion Creek.
  • Space Hunter
    Released in 1982, this film starred Peter Strauss and Molly Ringwald. Local filming locations included the Potash Ponds Overlook in Dead Horse Point State Park.
  • City Slickers II
    Released in 1994, this film stars Billy Crystal, John Lovitz, Jack Palance, and Daniel Stern. The film was partially shot at Fisher Towers Trailhead.
  • Thelma and Louise
    Released in 1990, this classic film starred Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, and Harvey Keitel. This film was shot all over the greater Moab area. The initial opening scene was filmed near the La Sal Mountains, they have a confrontation with a police officer at the courthouse towers in Arches National Park, and they play out there final moments at Shafer Trail under Dead Horse Point.

Other Films and Locations

Other movies filmed in the area include Mission Impossible 2, Con Air, Austin Powers 3, Star Trek, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Galaxy Quest.

Although films have been shot all over Moab and its surrounding areas, some of the more popular areas include Dead Horse State Park, Island in the Sky in Canyolands National Park, Onion Creek, Fisher Towers, Kane Creek, Monument Valley, and the La Sal Mountains.

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