Easy Rider Filming Locations: This Is Where The Classic Road Movie Was Filmed

Easy Rider Filming Locations: This Is Where The Classic Road Movie Was Filmed

Released in 1969, this American indie road film written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern and starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper was a film that became a critical turning point in the way Hollywood was making films. Let us tell you more about this classic road drama film titled Easy Rider and its filming locations.

The movie follows the road journey of our two main leads, played by Hopper and Fonda, who we see traveling the American southwest and south after the successful completion of a cocaine deal. The theme and the genre of the movie was one that was still considered niche at the time, so the success of Easy Rider was even more important as it managed to bring road movies into the spotlight.

The film beautifully portrayed the American landscapes as the two lead bikers traveled, all the questioning then relevant topics such as the American ‘hippie’ culture, drug use, and society’s views on young adults, most of which remain relevant even in the present time.

Apart from Hopper and Fonda, the movie also stars Jack Nicholson, Luke Askew, Phil Spector, Karen Black, Toni Basil, and many others who appear throughout the film. Actor Jack Nicholson even received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film. The film received a second nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category as well. 

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The Cast of the film, Easy Rider, shooting in California (Credits: Columbia Pictures)
The Cast of the film, Easy Rider, shot in California (Credits: Columbia Pictures)

The movie did extremely well at the box office and with the critics and fans and was even selected by the Library of Congress to be included in the United States National Film Registry for preservation. 

Critics appreciated the fact that the film was able to correctly portray the two sides of the then-American society, one where dreams, ambitions, and hopelessness exist together. 

Easy Rider’s Filming Locations

United States

The film, when it received a green light from the production house, Columbia Pictures, had a budget of no more than $400,000. This was not enough budget for the film, and according to Fonda, there were times throughout the shooting when he had to pay for food, lodgings, and even gas on behalf of the entire filming crew.

But even so, with this budget, the crew managed to film the movie in a lot of different locations, including California, Arizona, New Orleans, and New Mexico. The production crew also found themselves at the Malibu Canyon and Route 66, a famous route in Flagstaff, Arizona, where a bunch of this film’s starting cross-country road journey scenes were shot.

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The campfire scene in the film, Easy Rider shot in parts of Los Angeles (Credits: Columbia Pictures)
The campfire scene in the film Easy Rider was shot in parts of Los Angeles (Credits: Columbia Pictures)

The film also had quite a few restaurant scenes that were, for the most part, shot in Louisiana, Morganza, to be more specific. The extras that you see lurking in the scenes, going in and out, were actually the locals belonging to the village. 

The movie also has a scene with the two main characters on Louisiana Highway 105 outside of Krotz Springs, a small town in Louisiana. As the duo commenced on their road journey, the movie showed us a scene where Wyatt threw his Rolex watch on the ground in a desert-type location in California. The specific location here is the now ghosted town of Ballarat, a secluded spot barely in use presently.

The duo also has a scene where they meet a hitchhiker during their journey, and it is a specially memorable scene as it has the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, located in Arizona, as its backdrop. While moving further with their trip, the duo also passes the Hansen Dam Recreation Area located in Los Angeles.

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The hitchhiker scene in the film, Easy Rider shot in parts of Arizona (Credits: Columbia Pictures)
The hitchhiker scene in the film Easy Rider was shot in parts of Arizona (Credits: Columbia Pictures)

Right after this, they set up camp to rest for the night, and this scene takes place at a place called Lake View Terrace. The movie shows our two leads go through a whole cross-country biking trip, and throughout the movie, you will be able to spot a lot of familiar locations.

While the entire movie is scenic and aesthetic, it will be an extremely long list if we start listing all of the locations that you see in the film. We have mentioned the most memorable ones above, making it slightly easier for you if you wish to cover the same path as the quirky duo of this classic film.

Also Read: Beyond Paradise Filming Locations: Every Place Featured in the TV Show

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