Monday, August 29, 2016

Red Rock Canyon

Dear Reader,

On my way to Mammouth Mt., a couple of years ago, I passed Red Rock Canyon off of California 14 about two hours north-east of Los Angeles.  It's one of those parks as you drive by, that you wonder, "this looks interesting, I need to visit this place one day."  I bought my camera with me and a notepad to write my notes.  I stopped in the town of Mojave for fuel, I wasn't sure when I was going to see another gas station, as it turns it there is a no name gas station about ten minutes from Red Rock, but the fuel prices was about a dollar more than it was in Mojave.  Since I was a little thirsty I had a large Ice-t at the McDonalds, then I traveled about thirty minutes north on California 14, I made a left at Abbott Dr, (by the way it is very easy to pass this road, and the next exit is about three miles north, so look for the signs to Red Rock Canyon).  Once you are on Abbott Dr it will take you to the entrance to the park.  There is a big parking lot for large vehicles, a closed dump station, and a visitor center.  The main road into the park is a one way road that snakes back to the main parking lot.  The visitor center is closed most of the year.  

Red Rock is located on the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, the elevation is about 3000 feet, it is not uncommon to see a dusting of snow at this elevation in the winter.  The Kawaiisu Indians once called this place home and it was an important trade route for the American Indians.  During the Gold Rush, settles used Red Rock as a watering hole and a camp.

Many westerns were shot at the park or near the park, the red rock formation is daunting with hues of red, rust and tan.  I drove around the park, it takes about twenty minutes to circumvent the park, however I found myself stopping and taking pictures along the way.  The one-way road is dirt, it is not a washboard, but there is a strict 15 mile an hour speed limit.  The larger vehicles would be relegated to the main paved parking lot.   

Though Red Rock Canyon has been used for various feature films, it is not an overused location.  In my sixteen years in the business, I only had one client film there.  Perhaps it is a lesser known locale, it is further than Vasquez Rocks, by about an hour, but worth the extra drive.  The topography is stunning and is the perfect backdrop for any shoot.   

If your project is for multiple days the nearest town is Mojave about thirty minutes to the south.  There is a Days Inn 800.329.1073, Econo Lodge 661.824.2463, Americas Best Value Inn 661.824.9317 and a couple of no-name motels.  There are a number of gas stations that sell gasoline and diesel, there are also a number of casual dinning restaurants.  There is a Stater Brothers grocery store.  Essentially everything you would need for any size crew.

If you are interested in this location or other locations, call me Michael Green at 818.317.7099 .  I also rent motor homes, portable restrooms and I do location scouting.