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Film Fans Will Cherish a Road Trip Down California's Highway 395

Film Fans Will Cherish a Road Trip Down California's Highway 395

From Mount Whitney to Death Valley to Bodie and beyond, this stretch of road feels like one massive movie set. 

Posted 5 years agoby John Godfrey

U.S. Route 395 traverses 557 ruggedly beautiful miles, including the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney, and the lowest point on the entire continent, Death Valley. Amid the highs and lows, many road trippers experience a sense of déjà vu as they navigate their way along the eastern side of the Sierra.

Toronto Star travel writer Tim Johnson certainly did. 

"Pivoting from alpine glory to desert desolation, to charming, tiny towns, my entire drive down the 395 feels like a tour through a movie set," he wrote. At the foot of Mount Whitney he was directed to the spot where Humphrey Bogart's character died in High Sierra—and promptly did what any movie fan would do: "I walk over, snap a photo of the unusually large stone and the spot where Bogey breathed his last, then drive back down the mountain for a more complete movie tour."

Johnson's tour takes him through Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Bodie State Historic Park, and Lone Pine, where he embarked on a guided tour at the Museum of Western Film History

He also ventured out into the Alabama Hills, which has provided the backdrop for more than 400 films.

If you're interested in seeing where countless cinematic classics were shot—ranging from Gunga Din and How the West Was Won to Iron Man and Django Unchained—saddle up and head to Highway 395.


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