BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
MOAB — You can step inside a movie without ever leaving the state.
Several scenes from Disney’s new movie, “The Lone Ranger,” were filmed in Moab, Arches National Park, and Dead Horse Point. Fans of the film can stand where stars Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp stood, imagining their own scenes of justice and danger in the Old West.
“It’s just spectacular down there,” said Rebecca Katz, with the Utah Office of Tourism. “When you see ‘The Lone Ranger,’ you’ll get a sense of the grandeur of the area. The movie does a really good job presenting that.”
Utah was one of three major filming locations for the movie, which also included New Mexico and Canada. Though the Utah Office of Tourism is encouraging people to visit the filming sites, there’s no official tour set up.
“It’s pretty casual and on-your-own,” said Katz.
That doesn’t mean that you have to travel blindly, however.
The most iconic Utah-related scene in the movie features Hammer (as the Lone Ranger) waking up on a wooden platform 2,000 feet off the ground. This was filmed at Dead Horse Point State Park, and visitors can hike to an overlook at the edge of the same mesa where the platform stood. Watch Hammer talk about his experience filming the scene at movies.yahoo.com/video/lone-ranger-spirit-platform-featurette-152011064.html, then take in the view from a much safer position.
Then head east along the Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (Highway 279) to the Gold Bar Group Campsite, where other mountain-related scenes from the movie were filmed. The camp is just across the street from the trailhead to Corona Arch, located up Bootlegger Canyon.
If you head back to Moab, you’ll find Kane Springs Road, which follows the southern shore of the Colorado River. Several scenes from the movie were shot alongside this road, including one where The Lone Ranger and Tonto use the river to escape an explosion. Sadly, there aren’t any markers identifying the exact spot, but people with good eyes can identify the area for themselves.
The movie also includes several other iconic Utah vistas, including Monument Valley. Those looking for a little help with picking them all out can watch Hammer talk about his memories filming at bit.ly/TLR-Pod.
“Moab is a haven for adventure,” he said in the video. “We had hikes and adventures every day off that we had in Moab.”
Disney received a 20 percent tax credit on the taxes it would have owed to the state, which totaled $3.7 million, according to a spokesman from the Utah Film Commission. That amounts to an incentive of $740,000.