: Reese Witherspoon at Crater Lake in "Wild" by Fox Searchlight

Find Your Favorite Oregon Film Location

December 19, 2018
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You’ve been there. You’re in the middle of watching a favorite movie or TV show, captivated by all the beautiful visuals, when suddenly you realize, “I know that place.”

Honestly, it happens pretty often to Oregonians.

So it may come as no surprise that more than 400 movies and shows have been filmed in Oregon — from the 1909 silent drama “The Fisherman’s Drama” to the current fantasy-adventure series “The Librarians.”

Because it’s easy to find inspiration in the state’s 98,466 square miles / 255,025 square kilometers. Here in Oregon, filmmakers find their backdrops along alpine meadows and rushing rivers, dusty plains and high-desert peaks, colorful city streets and historic homes, and many familiar places that the locals know well.

Now you can track down your favorite film site in Oregon. To celebrate 50 years of Oregon Film (and many more to come), we take a look back at some of the most famous movies and television shows filmed in Oregon — and where you can see the real-life locations for yourself. We won’t blame you for wanting to recreate the scenes too.

 

Portlandia

2011-2018

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Anyone visiting Portland is bound to encounter filming locations of the infamous IFC series, “Portlandia.” During a wildly popular seven-year run, the sketch show filmed in many pockets of Portland.

In the series’ opening credits are a number of iconic Portland locations: Powell’s City of Books, Burnside Skatepark, the “Keep Portland Weird” sign across from Voodoo Doughnut and the namesake Portlandia statue on the Portland Building downtown.

One of the most recognizable sites is the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, the backdrop for the lighthearted “Dream of the ’90s” music video. Stroll the riverfront path across from downtown Portland, snap some photos and hum your own song lyrics. Afterwards you might more than playfully indulge in Portland’s real-life culture, with local tastemakers nearby: Steven Smith Teamaker, Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.Water Avenue CoffeeShalom Y’all and Noraneko, to name a few.

 

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Wild

2014

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When Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” was destined for the big screen, so was Oregon. The state had an important role in Strayed’s poignant memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail — from the streets of Portland and Ashland, to the slopes of Mt. Hood and the dusty Oregon Badlands, to the brilliant blue waters of the nation’s deepest lake, Crater Lake. True “Wild” film fans know the Kennedy Meadows scene was actually shot at Paulina Lake Lodge near the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

For a special reenactment, head north to Cascade Locks along the Columbia River, where Cheryl Strayed completed her trek. The steel Bridge of the Gods, named in honor of a former natural dam, is the lowest elevation of the PCT. Perhaps the best view of the bridge is on Thunder Island or the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. You’ll often find hikers sharing stories at Thunder Island Brewing, especially during PCT Days in August. For your own slice of the PCT experience, take the family-friendly hike to Dry Creek Falls.

 

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Twilight

2008

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Fans of the “Twilight Saga” book and movie series know the story line is based in the Pacific Northwest, but not all realize the major part Oregon played in the five films. Many of the scenes between teenager Bella Swan and her love interest, a vampire named Edward Cullen, took place in the forests, parks and towns of Oregon.

Northwest of Portland, the city of St. Helens served as the movie’s Port Angeles and is filled with filming locations. Angel Hair Salon posed as Bella’s prom dress shop, with gowns supplied by Jilly’s a couple doors down. Stop by another scene-stealer, the Columbia County Courthouse, which was also featured in the Disney movie “Halloweentown.” Nearby town Vernonia played the part of Forks.

Several iconic “Twilight” scenes — including the one of Bella and Edward in the treetops — were shot at Silver Falls State Park, known as the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system. The sprawling park is best known for the Trail of Ten Falls, a 7.2-mile loop hike to 10 awe-inspiring waterfalls, as well as more than 35 miles of backcountry trails for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding.

 

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Free Willy

1992

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The beginning scenes of ’90s classic “Free Willy” are a sequence of a familiar shots — but not necessarily geographically close. Observant Oregonians will notice main character whizzes by Burnside Skatepark and Oaks Amusement Park in different parts of Portland, followed by the fish market in Astoria on the Oregon Coast. Further watching reveals shots of Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park too.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a ’90s movie scene as memorable as when Willy jumped over the seawall (and Jesse) in the movie’s final moments. Locals will recognize the site as Hammond Marina on Oregon’s North Coast, a popular boat launch for access to the Columbia River. Come salmon season, the area is packed with ambitious sea anglers. Pro tip: if you’re trying to snap a photo in honor of Willy, please use caution and don’t walk on the seawall.

 

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Stand by Me

1986

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Most kids of the ’80s have scenes from “Stand by Me” ingrained in their mind. The coming-of-age film based on Stephen King’s “The Body” is told like a long flashback, a story of four friends on a seminal journey. It might be best summed up with the line, “‘I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12.”

True fans visit Brownsville for “Stand by Me” tributes — the sign for Blue Point Diner still proudly hangs from Main Street, with bullet holes in the back alley door, and the green bridge leading into town can feel like a Castle Rock homecoming. Every July the town hosts Stand by Me Day with music, games, pies, a costume contest, classic cars and three showings of the movie. It’s also the best time to take the walking tour.

But there’s another iconic Willamette Valley bridge in “Stand by Me.” Outside Cottage Grove, along the Row River Trail, is the red trestle bridge that Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern crossed on their trek. (It’s also seen in 1926 “The General” with Buster Keaton.)  The trail is a car-free section of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, a family-friendly route along Dorena Lake.

 

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Goonies

1985

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The phrase “Goonies never say die!” has stood the test of time for good reason. The ’80s adventure-comedy “The Goonies” has all the ingredients for a kids’ classic: best friends, a pirate’s treasure map, epic scenery and kids knowing better than the adults.

Movie buffs will love the Oregon Film Museum, located in Astoria on Oregon’s North Coast. The museum is housed in the very jail seen in the opening of “The Goonies” and has one of the Historic Oregon Film Trail markers. Pose for photos, learn about Oregon film history, recreate scenes in front of green screens and more. Also in Astoria, the Flavel House Museum served as the workplace of Mikey’s dad.

Take a trip to Ecola State Park for a view that’s both breathtakingly beautiful and very familiar. This is where the Goonies found the Fratelli family’s hideout, where the boys bike to a viewpoint of the rocks. (It’s also featured in “Twilight” the 1991 “Point Break” starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.) After your Goonies-esque photos, embark on your own adventure on the 8-mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail or the 2.5-mile interpretive Clatsop Loop Trail.

 

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Paint Your Wagon

1969

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Back in the late 1960s, a part of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest transformed into “No Name City,” a fictitious miner’s settlement in “Paint Your Wagon,” a Western musical starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg. The tall and inspiring Wallowa Mountains — dubbed the “Alps of Oregon” — and the Eagle Cap Wilderness set the scene.

Fans can visit the Paint Your Wagon Interpretive Site just outside Baker City and Halfway, and take photos with the wooden marker designating the site along the East Eagle River. Hikers will love further venturing along the East Eagle Trail and imagine what it looked like when Hollywood came to this remote area. The Baker Heritage Museum also maintains a “Paint Your Wagon” exhibit with memorabilia, a miniature film set and plenty of insider’s secrets.

 

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Cottage Grove has a mural honoring the 1926 silent film "The General," starring Buster Keaton. The town's Main Street is also the film site for the famous parade scene in the 1978 "Animal House."

Filmed in Oregon

2010-2019

“Shrill” (2019) – Portland, Beaverton

“Trinkets” (2019) – Portland, Clackamas

“Documentary Now!” (2019) – Portland, Scotts Mills

“Phoenix, OR” (2019) – Klamath Falls

“Missing Link” (2019) – animated

“The Perfectionists” (2019) – Forest Grove, Portland, Estacada

“Lean on Pete” (2018) – Portland, Harney County

“Here and Now” (2018) – Portland

“Everything Sucks!” (2018) – Oregon City, Boring, Fort Rock

“Bad Samaritan” (2018) – Portland

“Leave No Trace” (2018) – Estacada, Portland, Newberg

“Portlandia” (2011-2018) – Portland Region

“The Librarians” (2014-present) – Portland, Clackamas

“Original Fare” (2013-present) – Portland, Eastern Oregon

“Little People Big World” (2006-present) – Portland Region

“The Watchman’s Canoe” (2017)  – Coos Bay, Florence

“Tracktown” (2017) – Eugene

“Wei is de Moi?” (2017) – Portland Region, statewide

“I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore” (2017) – Portland, Wilsonville, Lake Oswego

“Grimm” (2011-2017) – Portland Region

“Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove” (2016) – Newport, Coos Bay

“Buddymoon” (2016) – Mt. Hood & the Columbia River Gorge

“Green Room” (2015) – Clackamas, Astoria

“Significant Mother” (2015) – Portland

“Wild” (2013) – Portland, Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks

“Redwood Highway” (2013) – Southern Oregon, Oregon Coast

“Leverage” (2008-2012) – Portland Region, Mt. Hood

2000-2009

“Something Wicked” (2009) – Eugene

“Twilight” (2008) – Portland, Oxbow Park, St. Helens, Carver

“The River Why” (2008) – Portland Area, Wilson River

“Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling” (2008) – Portland Region, Clackamas County

“The Road” (2008) – Portland Region, Fort Stevens

“Dark Horizon” (2006) – Salem

“Mr. Brooks” (2006) – Portland

“Paranoid Park” (2006) – Portland

“My Name is Bruce” (2006) – Medford

“Into The Wild” (2006) – Astoria, Cascade Mountains

“Feast of Love” (2006) – Portland

“The Music Within” (2006) – Portland

“Are We There Yet?” (2005) – Portland

“The Ring Two” (2004) – Astoria

“Bigger Than the Sky” (2004)  Portland

“Mean Creek” (2003) – Estacada, Troutdale

“Thumbsucker” (2003) – Tigard, Vernonia, Portland

“Elephant” (2002) – Portland

“What the Bleep Do We Know!?” (2002) – Portland

“The Ring” (2002) – Newport, Columbia River Gorge

“AI” (2001) – Gresham

“Bandits” (2001) – Salem, Wilsonville

“Swordfish” (2001) – Redmond

“Antitrust” (2001) – Portland

“Pay It Forward” (2000) – Portland

1990-1999

“Men of Honor” (1999) – Rainier, Portland

“Halloweentown” (1998) – St. Helens, Portland

“Double Jeopardy” (1998) – Salem

“Zero Effect” (1997) – Portland

“The Postman” (1997) – Central Oregon

“Without Limits” (1996 ) – Eugene

“From Oregon With Love” (1984-1996) – Central Oregon

“8 Seconds” (1994) – Pendleton

“Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home” (1994) – Astoria

“Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1994) – Portland

“The River Wild” (1994) – Grants Pass

“Maverick” (1994) – Columbia River Gorge

“Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” (1992) – Bend, Portland

“Free Willy” (1992) Portland, Astoria

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1992) – Astoria

“Body of Evidence” (1993) – Portland

Homeward Bound: Incredible Journey” (1991) – Portland, Wallowa County, Bend

“Point Break” (1991) – Wheeler, Ecola State Park

“My Own Private Idaho” (1990) – Portland, Maupin

“The Favor” (1990) – Portland

“Kindergarten Cop” (1990) – Astoria

1980-1989

“Spirit of the Eagle” (1988) – Grants Pass

“Drugstore Cowboy” (1988) – Portland

“Homer and Eddie” (1988) – Mt. Hood, Oregon City

“Permanent Record” (1987) – Portland

“Benji the Hunted” (1986) – Statewide

“Overboard” (1987) – Newport

“Short Circuit” (1985) – Astoria, Portland, Columbia River Gorge

“Stand By Me” (1985) – Eugene, Cottage Grove, Brownsville

“The Dream Chasers” (1984) – Medford, Jacksonville

“Goonies” (1984) – Astoria

“Quarterback Princess” (1983) – McMinnville

1970-1979

“Animal House” (1978) – Eugene

“The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” (1977) – Yaquina Head

“The Shining” (1977) – Timberline Lodge

“The Possessed” (1977) – Reed College, Portland

“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) – Salem, Central Coast

“The Apple Dumpling Gang” (1974) – Deschutes National Forest

“Rooster Cogburn” (1974) – Bend, Grants Pass

“Lost Horizon” (1972) – Mt. Hood

“Napoleon and Samantha” (1972) – John Day

“Drive, He Said” (1970) – Eugene

“Sometimes a Great Notion” (1970) – Central Coast

“Getting Straight” (1970) – Eugene

1960-1969

“Paint Your Wagon” (1969) – Baker County

“True Grit” (1969) – Bend, Grant’s Pass

“The Way West” (1967) – Crooked River Canyon, Lane County

“Shenandoah” (1965)

“The Great Race” (1965) – Gearhart

“Mara of the Wilderness” (1965) – Deschutes National Forest

“Ring of Fire” (1961) – Vernonia

1950-1959

“The Day of the Outlaw” (1959) – Bend

“Tonka” (1958) – Bend

“The Day Called X” (1957) – Portland

“Oregon Passage” (1957) – Bend

“Portland Expose” (1957) – Portland, Gresham

“Bend of the River” (1952) – Mt. Hood

1909-1950

“Rachel and the Stranger” (1949) – Eugene

“Golden Earrings” (1946) – Corbett

“Canyon Passage” (1946)

“Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1939) – Eugene, McKenzie River

“Call of the Wild” (1935) – Mt. Baker Lodge

Singing Waters” (1931) – Pendelton

“The Big Trail” (1930) – Pendelton

“Ed’s Coed” (1929) – Eugene

“City Girl” (1928) – Pendelton

“The Old Oregon Trail” (1928) – Condon, John Day River

Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1926) – Cottage Grove

“Winds of Chance” (1925) – Wallowa

“Rin-Tin-Tin: Find Your Man” (1924) – Klamath Falls

“Covered Wagon” (1923)

“Grace’s Visit to the Rogue Valley” (1915) – Jackson County

“The Fisherman’s Bridge” (1909)

For a full list of movies and television series filmed in Oregon, visit OregonFilm.org.

About The
Author

Sachie Yorck
Sachie Yorck is Content Editor at Travel Oregon. Depending on the day, she could be record-hunting in downtown Portland, hiking on a muddy forest path or soaking in one of Oregon's many natural hot springs.