Being the fan of westerns that I am, I was immediately taken in by the new HBO incarnation of Westworld. Even though I enjoyed the original 1973 film, it wasn’t without its flaws, which is why I was open to a new take on it, and I can say the show did not let me down, and ended its first season with me begging for more. In the show we are introduced to the town of Escalante, and later it is where the jaw-dropping finale takes place – all of it being filmed at the very accessible Paramount Ranch (which we visited before, back in 2015, you can view that post here) so I felt it was time for a revisit! I also took along my friend, Kaitlyn, also a fan of the show, who had never visited Paramount Ranch before.
If you didn’t read my previous post on Paramount Ranch, but are familiar with the 1990s TV show Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, then this will look very familiar, as it was used for Colorado Springs. It was also used in an episode of the sci-fi sudo-western, Firefly.
Between our first visit and this one, little changed, with the exception of fresh paint and the addition of the church, which was used in Westworld, and I was delighted to find still there.
It should be noted that you cannot enter any of the buildings. The image of the the interior of the church was shot through the window.
After being used by Paramount Pictures for decades and changing hands several times, in 1980, it was purchased by the National Parks, whose hands it remains in today, which is what makes it so accessible. Plus, it’s free! There is a donation box, if you wish to donate (which I highly encourage if you if you value our National Parks System). Behind the western town are several hiking trails, and the area is popular for horseback riding, I can’t say I blame them, because it’s pretty nifty to ride a horse through an old western town!
November 2018 UPDATE: On Friday, November 9th, 2018, Paramount Ranch fell victim to the Woolsey Fire that tore through the Malibu, Thousand Oaks and Agora Hills areas. Paramount Ranch was reduced to cinders with only the train depot from Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and church built for HBO’s Westworld remaining.
August 2023 UPDATE: Rebuilding of Paramount Ranch has begun! Read more via The Acorn.