National Park

Filmmaking at Paramount Ranch National Park

The only site in the national park dedicated to filmmaking. A Bartell’s Backroads Pit Stop Adventure

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — In 1927, Paramount Pictures needed a versatile location to film movies and TV shows, so they leased land in Agora Hills. Today, this land is known as Paramount Ranch.

You might recognize the fake train depot from the 1990s TV show “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.”

“They had a bunch of other buildings here just for this show because they’ve been here for six years,” National Park Service spokeswoman Ana Beatriz Cholo said.

Long before Jane Seymour and Joe Lando saved lives on the frontier, Paramount Ranch was the backdrop for countless actors during the golden age of cinema.

“162 films were created between 1927 and 1943,” Cholo said.

Today, Paramount Ranch is part of the National Park Service, but the land is still used by Hollywood.

“The White Church was from HBO’s ‘Westworld,'” Cholo said.

TAKE A TRIP ON THE CHIMNEYS OF BARTELL:
See an interactive map of everywhere John has visited on back roads
► Watch all Backroads videos
► Follow
John on Facebook

The ranch wasn’t just for western shows. In the late 1950s there was a running track that ran through the park, but it closed to actual racing in 1957 after two fatal crashes. The track was, however, featured in Disney’s 1968 film “The Love Bug.”

When the National Park Service took over operations in the 1980s, it dedicated the park to the cinema. Today, it is the only national park that invites the public to working film sets.

“Fans can come watch them film the shows,” Cholo said.

In November 2018, the Woolsey Fire swept through the park and destroyed many historic film sets.

“It was devastating to (lose them) but the good news is that we will rebuild,” Cholo said.

During the reconstruction, you can still go hiking, sightseeing and horseback riding.

DISCOVER THE ROUTES: Summer is here! Plan your ultimate road trip with John Bartell’s list of the top 10 California destinations to visit.