National Parks Seen On the Big Screen
America’s national parks aren’t just scenic, often they make the scene. Check out these national park locations you may or may not recognize from your favorite films.
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Death Valley National Park
California or Tatooine? The desert landscape and stunning sand dunes of Death Valley National Monument — and its proximity to Los Angeles —have made it a popular location for movie shoots. In "Star Wars," Death Valley is the stand-in for many scenes on the fictional planet Tatooine. Parts of "Return of the Jedi," "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" and many other classic movies including "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," "The Greatest Story Ever Told," "King Solomon's Mines," "Spartacus" and "Tarzan" were also shot in Death Valley.
Arches National Park
In the opening sequence of the third "Indiana Jones" movie, a troop of Boy Scouts hikes under the Double Arch of Utah's Arches National Park. You'll see the same arch — and others — in 2003's "The Incredible Hulk." Parts of "City Slickers" and "Thelma and Louise" were also shot in Arches.
Redwoods National Park
A spaceship lands in a forested area near a typical suburb, a set-up that brings us the adorable alien from "E.T." That forest is none other than Redwoods National Park. Also, further down California's coast, the redwoods of Muir Woods stand in as Endor, the home of the Ewoks in "Return of the Jedi."
Badlands National Park
Denali National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Devils Tower National Monument
Is there any more iconic natural formation in the movies than Devils Tower, the center of alien activity in 1977's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"? The Wyoming location, America's first landmark designated a national monument, manages to evoke earthiness and otherworldliness at once.