From Corriganville, one just needs to cross the Santa Susana Pass over to Iverson Road and to discover another movie location bonanza, which is now history. Near a town called Canoga Park are huge elephant-sized outcroppings of rock. This was called Iverson’s Ranch. Wayne's first movie up there was Texas Cyclone in 1932. Before Stagecoach came along, he had already filmed Haunted Gold, Central Airport, and The Dawn Rider on the ranch’s grounds. Even after Stagecoach, Republic sent him right back to Iverson Movie Ranch, for Santa Fe Stampede, and Three Texas Steers.
Even though in the movie the Stagecoach had reached Monument Valley, when the Ringo Kids twirls his rifle to hold the stage, he stands in Iverson Ranch in the Simi Hills. When he makes his now-famous entrance, „Wyatt Earp Rock“ is backing him up, the distinctive boulder in the Iverson Gorge.
As the stagecoach arrives at its first relay station, it runs between a famous rock formation in Lower Iverson, called Tower Rock to the left and the Sphinx to the right. This heavily filmed place is now...
...the backyard of a private home on Red Mesa Road, in the middle of the Garden of the Gods, as the area became known for.
Hommage to the six-gun heroes: this plaque in the Garden of the Gods is in the same place where Yakima Canutt led his stuntmen to start the chase of the Stagecoach.
The Stagecoach reaches Lee’s Ferry, burned to the ground by the Apaches. John Ford put the smoking ruins on one of the most frequently used spots at Iverson, with Batman Rock and the Happy Slab in the background. A parking lot today.
In December 1943, Republic rented a large section of Upper-Iverson (as the upper part of the ranch was known around Hollywood producers) to turn it into a Pacific Island on which John Wayne battles the Japanese army with his Fighting Seabees.
The area under siege included Cactus Hill and the South Rim of the Upper Iverson; the landmark Eagle Beak Rock is prominently seen.
For the combat scenes, Republic took over Lower Iverson. In the scenes were the U.S. Troops are positioned in the Upper Gorge, a portion of the Garden of the Gods is visible in the background: Tower Rock makes a brief comeback after having served as a cornerstone for Stagecoach.
If you like this site, you'll like this brandnew book: the first comprehensive guide to the John Wayne Locations, with hundreds of then-and-now photos, unpublished behind-the-scenes-pictures and detailed tour descriptions
Find directions to locations and anecdotes from the set in this new publication from McFarland, available now at bookstores everywhere
All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted