1985 Eastwood Ravine
1985 EASTWOOD RAVINE
This text from the old version of the site – Update coming soon!
Filming Location from “Back to the Future”
Located in Port Hueneme, California
SEE THE END OF THIS ARTICLE FOR
LOCATION AND VISITING INFORMATION!
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The Delorean Death Site / Finale Site – BTTFtour.com
Another BTTFtour.com first!! To our knowledge, for the first time we bring you photos and the directions to the location of the Back to the Future trilogy’s finále! A while back, world famous sidekick Tony P and I took to the streets of Port Hueneme, CA after carefully listening to the commentary on BTTF part IIII. We bought a map of Ventura county and literally visited EVERY street that had a railroad crossing in the city. After two trips and countless hours of searching, we found the site, in pristine 1990 condition, on the very southernmost tip of Ventura road, just before it dead ends into the ocean!
Here it is that the DeLorean met it’s untimely end, and here also is where Doc returns to give us all hope that someday, somehow, the Back to the Future story will live on..
In reality this junction is surrounded by high class apartments and townhomes and there are tons of people about by day – all of whom are completely oblivious to the fact that this, for BTTF fans worldwide, is sacred ground. The place the DeLorean that inspired millions of future owners of Gull-Wing doors met it’s end…
All I can say about this location is: VISIT and share your stories with us! We spent a lot of time tracking this site down and we hope that all of you BTTF fans will finally be able to enjoy a visit!
By the way, the best place to park is where Marty parks his truck in the movie (See screenshot below). The Townhouse/Condo complex just to the northeast of this RR junction has a driveway just north of the railroad tracks. Once inside, take the first right and head to the dead end. This may be private property though, so make sure there are no signs posted and that you always yield to the locals!
The Site in the Film – Screenshot from Back to the Future – Part III – 1990The real life intersection today. Nothing has changed.The ocean is a block away to the left of this shot.. We found this location on our own, by driving around Port Hueneme or about 6 hours.Here’s the intersection today. I know, the picture sucks. It was late in the day and the sun was setting. We will have more photos coming very soon! And when we do we’ll get the right angles.
GPS COORDINATES: +34.144996, -119.195209
Visit to the 1885 Hill Valley Set by Kurt Bergeron
In 1993, Kurt Bergeron visited and photographed the Hill Valley 1885 town set from Back to the Future Part III. This is his story and his photographs of the town before it burned down. For more information on this location visit our main article.
I’d like to first say thank you for doing what you’ve done! I’ve visited a few of these locations and the others I plan to visit in the very near future. That said, I’d like to add my own experiences regarding the 1885 Hill Valley set. In June of 1993 I spent my 14th birthday sitting in the back of my parent’s car as we drove across the country. We zig-zagged through the states and followed the Lewis & Clark trail as we got further out west. At the time, I had only two destinations in my mind. One was the Hill Valley set at Universal Studios, Ca. and the other was the Back to the Future III set, which I knew was located in Sonora, Ca. I knew this from an interview I had read in one of the issues of my Back to the Future Fan Club Magazine.
Getting to the location, as you said is easier said than done, and actually, it’s not even easily said. My father knew that finding these destinations would be a dream come true for me, but finding the BTTF III set took us almost 100 miles out of our way. We had just gone through the west gate of Yosemite National Park and made our way to Sonora. We were equipped with no further information other than the name of the town. Sonora is located around the intersection of the California State Highways 49 and 108.
We drove back and forth through Sonora with our eyes peeled for anything BTTF. There were no signs whatsoever of ANY movie being filmed there all, let along BTTF III. This was surprising as Sonora is such a tiny place (only 3 square miles) and not only had the infamous trilogy filmed there but other westerns including Little House on the Prairie, Bad Girls, Unforgiven, The Mask of Zorro, Randolph Scott films, I mean, you’d think they’d enjoy the publicity! (Of course Bad Girls and Zorro were filmed after our visit). Regardless, my father rightfully assumed that a movie as big as BTTF might have a sign on the road to visit the set as a tourist attraction. This is absolutely not so! Eventually we pulled into a small gas station to ask the local attendant. I ran in. “Excuse me,” I said. “But could you please tell me where the Back to the Future III set is?” “Back to the Future!?” he responded back, “Did they film that here?” Heartbroken is a word you could use to describe my feelings at that moment. With my head hung down and my tail between the legs I wondered back to my family’s car. That was it, we drove 100 miles out of our way for nothing. And that’s when it happened. “Excuse me,” a woman asked. I looked up in surprise. “But are you looking for the Back to the Future set?” She had been inside the gas station and apparently overheard me ask the attendant. “Yes…,” I said excitedly as hope returned to my system. “Well I was actually an extra in the movie. If you want to follow me I’ll show you where it is.” What were the odds of that!!!?? She explained to us who she was in the film and I’ve since watched the movie and picked her out, but based on the fact that this is trespassing, I’ve decided to leave her identity a secret.
We followed her. I don’t recall how far we drove but it wasn’t long at all before she pulled over to the side of the road. I looked around. There was a billboard nearby, a bush and a fence running all along the road, which separated the road from an enormous amount of land. We approached her confused. She told us that the property was private but pointed to a biplane off in the distance. “You see that plane,” she asked my brother and I. “Yes,” we said. “It’s right around there,” she explained to us. “It’s right under that plane.” I responded in sadness, “Well there’s no way in. This is private property and we’re all fenced out.” “Well……” she continued and pointed to the bush. (I was beginning to love this woman) “Behind that bush there’s a hole in the fence if you really want to get in.” I’m not saying she condoned it but she certainly gave us the opportunity to make our own decision. In fact, she actually cautioned us about sticking around. She further explained that the property the set was on is actually split between two towns, although the town below us had been cut out of the proceeds from the film and they are NOT happy about it! In fact, the town’s police force is reportedly notorious for bagging fans.
There was no way in hell my parents were going to give me permission to risk that. How shocked I was when they returned to the car and pulled out a map “pretending” to look busy as my brother and I scurried through the hole. I admit it wasn’t the best plan but it was all we had and the only chance that I had to ever see the set at all. An executive decision was made, and we went for it. (Note: I have no idea if the hole is still there, it might have been repaired by now)
The remains of Marty & Doc’s campfire
To reiterate. You can NOT see Hill Valley from the road, and if you ever DO attempt to cross the property, do NOT expect a simple brisk walk. You are in for a little adventure! Tumbleweed, for a boy from New England is something that you only see in old western films. You don’t expect it to be real until it literally crosses your path, and it did. Snakes were another villain that we were told to beware of. I can’t express the joy I felt when we finally hit the railroad tracks. I have to admit I was shocked to see them. Being someone who works in film, and realizing how movies are made, I was surprised that the tracks were anywhere near the Hill Valley set at all, but a portion of the track IS connected to the Hill Valley of 1885. The first sight I saw was a large grey building, which I instantly recognized from being in the background of the film where Marty and Doc unloaded the car onto the tracks. Beside the tracks there was a circular area of burned away grass and some wood remains. I believe it to be where Marty and Doc had their camp fire beside which Marty woke up alone to find Doc with his whiskey in the saloon. My brother ran ahead but I was the fan who had to take in every aspect of everything I saw in the area. I was in BTTF heaven.
As I closed in on Hill Valley I started to take pictures again. My plan was to take a picture of every part of that town. The individual buildings, the clock tower, I would enter the saloon. All of my dreams were about to come true. As I was entering the town and about to take another picture, my brother came running towards me with no intention of stopping. “Run!” he shouted. I started to follow. (That’s what you do when someone yells “Run!”) I was shocked, confused, heartbroken, and now out of breath. “Why!?” I shouted back, upset that he would take me from this!
Hill Valley 1885 Set
Well, this next part takes a little bit of explaining. When the film’s extra brought us to the set she explained that the set was highly blocked off because individuals had been trespassing (hee hee) and breaking pieces off of the set as souvenirs. While I was starting to enter Hill Valley, my brother had already neared the saloon. Even at 15, that boy could drink! Outside the Saloon, by the hitching posts he found 3 large dobermans who were just as surprised to see HIM, and they were NOT especially happy about it. He ran from the growling dogs. (Another Note: running away from prey is not traditionally viewed as the best way to escape a predator although sometimes it seems like the logical thing to do.) I’ve always assumed that the dogs were chained up. I can’t imagine why they didn’t chase us through the prairie. My brother assures me that they were not however and suggests that there might have been an electrical fence. I never looked back to find out. As were we running back on the tracks we had once again arrived at the point where the Delorean was unloaded. I reached down to that very point and grabbed a rock. That was it. My souvenir. A rock that had sat beneath the Delorean before it took it’s final travel through time. A rock, which fortunately, I still have.
Returning to the car, we concluded that day by heading to dinner in downtown Sonora. We ate at a Mexican restaurant (I believe it was the Main Street Cafe) and I sat in a chair by the window looking out at the street. Downtown Sonora is not so different from the Hill Valley of 1885. Just walking down the streets of that town you can very much feel as though you’re in the west with its wooden sidewalks and “old west shaped” store fronts and buildings. We confided in our waitress that we had just come from the set. She responded by telling us stories of when the film was shot there and how Michael J. Fox pumped gas in the town and how low and behold he actually enjoyed eating at the very restaurant we selected. He reportedly ate there on several occasions during the filming of the movie and his favorite place to sit? Was right at the window where I was seated. What an incredible day! It couldn’t have been more perfect. It was the kind of experience you just can’t plan.
I’m including the pictures that I WAS able to take. I wish I got some closer shots but unfortunately, what I have was all this fan-boy could get before running for my life. I am deeply saddened to hear that the set was burned down but feel fortunate to know that I was one of the few who was able to see it before the fire.
1955 DOC BROWN’S MANSION EXTERIOR
Brown Mansion Location from “Back to the Future”
Located in Pasadena, California
See the end of this article for location and visiting information!
Editor’s Note: this text is from the old version of BTTF tour – we’re going to be revising these articles in the coming days. The photos and screenshots from these articles will all be down below for the time being, instead of thumbnails within the text. Thanks for your patience, and visit us again when everything’s tidied up!
After Marty has a creepy encounter with his Mother and her family in 1955, he foots it across town over to Doc Brown’s, only to discover that the house Doc had been living in in 1985 was merely the left over garage of his former mansion!(If you pay close attention in the film, you’ll notice that Doc Brown’s mansion burned down on Wednesday, August 1, 1962. Now that’s a bit of trivia for you!)
Although the Gamble house looks similar to the house in the movie “Zathura,” no part of the Gamble house was filmed in that movie! It did, however, provide some inspiration for the house in that film.
In real life, this beautiful mansion lies just off the route of the world-famous Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. In fact, this house is quite famous of it’s own accord. It’s called the Gamble House, and it’s extremely interesting location from a historical and architectural point of view. This building used to be the summer home of David B. Gamble (of the Procter & Gamble company) and was built by the famous architects Greene & Greene in 1909. A hallmark of California Craftsman architecture, the house is now owned by the city of pasadena and operated by the architecture department at USC. This site is easily accessible and you are allowed to walk freely on the grounds, although they do charge a fee for tours of the interior.
Due to the historic nature of the location, the Back to the Future film crew was not allowed inside the Gamble house itself, so the location was only used for exterior shots of the house, driveway, and garage. All of the interior shots, including the close up shots of Marty standing on the front porch, were filmed several miles away at another famous, but privately owned, house built by the Greene and Greene firm. That house has another page to itself located here.
As of the last revision of this article, The Gamble House is still open most days for guided tours, conducted by volunteers. However, these do cost money. It’s definitely worth supporting the ongoing restoration efforts at the Gamble House, but if you’re pressed for time this might not be the tour for you. If you do decide to come during business hours, you can visit the Gift shop inside the garage where you can find more information.
It’s also the closest thing you will get to being inside of Doc’s garage, since the movie version was filmed completely on a soundstage and no actual filming took place inside of the Gamble garage. If you don’t have the time, be assured that as of this writing the grounds are open as long as the sun is up, and you can even walk right up to the front porch. Two USC students live here full time to protect the property, so please try not to disturb them, but this is public property on the National Register of Historic Places and is completely free to visit, at least on the outside!
For MUCH more detailed information about the History of the Gamble house, as well as excellent directions and visitor information, visit their website at GambleHouse.org
ADDRESS: 4 WESTMORELAND PLACE, PASADENA, CA
COORDINATES: 34°9′5.62″N 118°9′38.88″W
1885 Hill Valley
Hill Valley Town Filming Location from Back to the Future part III
See the end of this article for location and visiting information!
WARNING: WE DO NOT SUGGEST YOU DO THIS LIGHTLY. PLEASE READ: It’s unclear where private and public land stop and begin. Everything you do here may or may not be trespassing – the highway here moves very quick and there is usually a steady flow of traffic, making it somewhat unsafe to backtrack and look around. There are rusty old railroad tracks with nails, spikes, stakes, barbed wire, ruts, etc.. and let’s not forget, PEOPLE WITH GUNS. So I really honestly suggest, and reccomend – THAT NO ONE DO THIS. But since I know you’re going to do it anyway I’ll tell you how we did. But this is strictly for – uh – educational purposes only. Don’t break the law, and be über-cautious out there. Rattlesnakes abound!
In all the years of Back to the Future location hunting, no single trip was as exciting as this. Stuck in Stockton, CA for the weekend, I learned that our hosts had relatives in Jamestown, and that it was not too far away, and of course I was all ears. Five people packed into a tiny Ford 4-door and off we went. Our first stop was at a shooting range. It was the Marine Corps’ birthday, and our hosts’ Grandfather wanted to celebrate it with us… by firing guns! (This, by the way, was a veteran of Chosin Reservoir, if you don’t know about that, look it up!).
Our driver, R, seemed skeptical as we headed south from Jamestown back towards Yosemite Junction, but as vague as my description of this location seemed to be, (If you go, you’ll see for yourself, it’s pretty difficult to give directions to a patch of nowhere…) I had a map in my head and a mission to accomplish.
Now, Yosemite Junction isn’t really a town, and for that matter neither is Keystone. In fact, Keystone isn’t even on most maps. But Yosemite Junction is where the CA-120 splits off of CA-108 and heads east towards Chinese Camp and Yosemite Nat’l Park. If you blink, or sneeze, you will miss both of these towns.
Luckily for the intrepid BTTF tour fan, the very real Railroad tracks which the train ran on in the film run right alongside the road for a stretch of about 1.5 miles as you travel Northbound towards Yosemite Junction. The spot you’ll need to find is where these tracks take a sudden turn eastwards into the hills and away from the road. It’s going to take some serious concentration to find that spot, but there is one landmark that can help! Almost directly across from the point along the tracks you want is the “Keystone Cattle Ranch” – Now, there is a way to get to the location of Hill Valley 1885 on dirt roads, but we DO NOT reccomend you even TRY that way for several reasons, chief among them is that this is PRIVATE PROPERTY, people actually LIVE in those hills (even though you can’t easily see the houses from the highway) and they CAN AND WILL SHOOT YOU.
We realized this from the first, so we had our very patient driver RM pull over inside the Keystone Cattle Ranch driveway, and wait with the car so that we wouldn’t enrage the local cowboys. Of course, this meant that three male punk rockers and a female companion had to run across the highway, which we did – San Diego style. (We suggest you park on the side of the small road across the highway. Remember: This isn’t someone’s lawn in Pasadena, this is the country, and you could get hurt.) Crossing over the weed-choked ditch through tall, dead grass, I couldn’t help but regret the fact that I was wearing shorts. I was a little nervous about ticks, but hey, not every tick has lyme disease, right? So what the hell, I’ll go forward. It wasn’t until we reached the tracks that someone wisely pointed out that we should be on the lookout for Rattlesnakes as well. With that in the back of my mind, we began our northward trek along the rusty and appearently abandoned stretch of track. All of a sudden the sound of automatic gunfire filled the air from the south side of the hills we were traveling alongside. I kid you not, it sounded like a small army. Take warning..
Once we realized that the gunfire wasn’t pointed at or towards us, we continued our journey. You’re gonna have to watch out once you get to the first sign of humanity along the tracks. It’s dozens of rusted, sharp, metal spikes across the tracks, and barbed wire fencing along the side. It’s a tetanus trap nightmare, so be really cautious in getting around it. It looks like it was once meant to keep cattle IN, but then again, it could just as easily have been meant to keep people like us OUT.
The location of Hill Valley 1885 is actually known as Red Hills Ranch. The town itself (minus the clock-tower, of course) had been there long before BTTF III and was created specifically for filming movies. Bonanza, Little House on the Prarie, Pale Rider, and even Unforgiven are just a few of the movies and TV series shot at this location. Since by rail it was only a short trip into this beautiful scenery aboard Railtown 1887’s historic trains, BTTF III was filmed here too.
I have studied the film and the documentaries and behind-the-scenes shots very carefully and memorized the shape and angle of the hills behind the site of HV 1885, so as soon as we rounded the bend, I knew for certain that we had hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, the other people along for the uh.. long hike (make sure you wear sturdy shoes!) weren’t as familiar with the movies and had no idea what we were looking at… because we were looking at nothing!
In 1996 a grass fire burned through the area just west of Chinese Camp, burning it’s way through hundreds of acres of nothing.. unfortunately, the town set used in all these movies happened to be in the middle of those acres of nothing. Along the tracks near the town set the fire becomes evident. Rail ties are nothing but cinders, and a few looked like they had literally exploded from the heat. The only thing even remotely connected to the filming days is a lonely prop windmill, slumped over on the ground. Somehow spared from the fires. On further reflection you notice the stumps of burned trees dotting the hillside.
Not a bad trip at all, not much to see, but for the Back to the Future fan, a MUST see! Numerous other small locations were located on the ranch property as well, including Clara’s home, the location of the switch track, and all the miles of track featured in that horse-chasing, train-racing action footage, but you’re going to need permission to use the back roads and much better shoes than mine, and it’s next to impossible to find those sites unless a local happens to know exactly where they were. They might know, but the only local we encountered was a vagrant family living out of a camper. Man with no shirt, woman with no shoes, and their companions, baby, large dog, and even larger shotgun. So be careful out there… and if you make it to Hill Valley 1885, send us some pictures!
ADDRESS: PRIVATE/PROTECTED RANCH
COORDINATES: 37.86342, -120.500622