White Stallion Ranch is an internationally renowned and nationally top-ranked vintage guest ranch centered on horse-riding and activities in a stunning setting. It is gated and open only to guests with reservations. Please contact White Stallion Ranch for more information.
Photo spot: The cave above W Lambert Lane at W Linda Vista Blvd just northeast of N Silverbell Road was created for a movie. Look to the mountains along W Lambert Lane for two side-by-side caves. As you face the caves, the cave on the left side is a natural cave. The cave on the right was blasted to make a fake mine, complete with fake mining tailings for The Bottom of the Bottle starring Joseph Cotton and Van Johnson (1956). The cave was also used for scenes in Night of Lepus with Janet Leigh (1968). The is on private property, but you may see it clearly from W Lambert Road.
Li'l Abner's Steakhouse is where major Hollywood actors, producer, directors, and crew spent their leisure time while filming in this neighborhood. You may dine here and enjoy the historic and vintage ambience that originates with this spot having been a homestead before the turn of the 19th century, then a rodeo practice arena, a bar added to the rodeo arena, and finally, the restaurant that was added to the bar, here today.
Sanctuary Cove is a secluded natural desert sanctuary of 80 acres, located at the foot of the majestic Tucson Mountains that form part of Saguaro National Park West. While Sanctuary Cove is an event and wedding venue, you may hike its grounds and trails leading into Saguaro National Park West between sunrise and sunset (only during those times, unless there is an event in progress). There is a single guest cottage on the property that may be reserved online for stays. This landscape was in the background of many Western movies that were filmed in the surroundings.
Mira Vista Resort is a vintage 1930s luxury clothing-optional resort, located down the road from Li'l Abner's Steakhouse and Sanctuary Cove. It offers dramatic views of the Tucson Mountains. Movie stars, directors, and their guests stayed here while filming in the vicinity. It is gated and open to guests with reservations only. Please contact Mira Vista Resort for more information.
Saguaro National Park West is one of the most visited National Parks in Arizona. It is easy to get to from Marana and has the gorgeous open spaces and scenic landscape that Western films made famous.
Old Tucson is the ultimate Western movie backlot that was turned into an attraction. There is nothing like it. Old Tucson is still used for filming and it's only a couple of miles from Saguaro National Park West.
Oasis at Wild Horse Ranch is a vintage 1940s resort where major Hollywood actors and directors stayed while filming in the area. It is now a top-rated wedding and event venue. Open with an appointment only.
More historic movie location points of interest:
Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum is one of the largest carriage and horse-pulled vehicle museums in the U.S., on the scale of a Smithsonian museum. Many of the antique stagecoaches and carriages on display were Western movie props.
Trail Dust Town is a charming small-scaled theme park with a cowboy steakhouse, a stunt show, children's carousel and small rides, shops, and a main plaza. It was fashioned from an abandoned movie backlot.
Mescal Movie Set, located about 30 minutes southeast of downtown Tucson, will open to the public in fall 2021, for the first time in history. Mescal has been a Western film location for more than 70 years. It was a location in the 1940s, then operated by Old Tucson as a second backlot.
Tombstone is the actual Victorian era wild west mining boom town where the historic gun fight near the O.K. Corral took place in 1881, involving real people, such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. The town was refurbished many decades ago (but is still rustic) into an attraction with authentic saloons, and daily re-enactments of the gun fight.
Bisbee is a one-of-a-kind mining boom town that was so rich that it was one of most cultured places in the West in 1900. It has high style architecture, marble facades, fancy hotels, and much more (imagine San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake). It has been taken over by a wide range of artists and creative people. The fancy hotels and saloons are still operating, along with incredible food, shopping, and a museum. A place that you have to experience for yourself!