(GPS: N37 39.730 W118 49.610)
I thought I would interrupt my tribute to John Wayne with this since in the next blog I am going to continue with the tribute with more on this area. Hot Creek is just east of HWY 395 outside of Mammoth, CA. Movies filmed here are at a higher elevation than the ones filmed at the Alabama Hills. When I think of the Sierra Nevada I think of forests and high mountains, not deserts. The general rule I go by is anything going west of the 395 is going to have the cooler forests and mountains, but anything going east of the 395 is warmer and deserts. When I drive it I usually like looking towards the west than the east of the 395.
(Note: my gps readings seemed a little off when I checked the Google maps at home. Like all my gps coordinates I post they should get you really close, but it is up to you to figure out the rest. The next time I am there I will have to recheck them.)
The whole Mammoth area has a volcanically charged geological history. At Hot Creek the cooling, but HOT, magma below heats the water. The water is very warm here with lots of steam at some points. If my memory is correct, they had a bunch of signs warning that somewhere around 13-16 people have either been severely injured or died here. This was a popular area to swim at, but has been prohibited for the past few years due to the instability of the area.
Nevada Smith is a Steve McQueen movie that the used a lot of different Eastern Sierra locations. The movie is good, but they really did do a lot of work on trying to show different locations in the movie. This is probably my favorite one.
In the next blog I will go down below. I will continue the tribute to John Wayne, but I will try to point out some more of where Nevada Smith was filmed as well. It is mostly the same areas.
Having Grit at Hot Creek (Youtube Version)
Having Grit at Hot Creek (Vimeo Version)
For the video I used the following music from Incompetech: Americana, Crusade, and In the West.