Iverson Movie Ranch


The striking sandstone hills of Chatsworth are one of the most widely filmed outdoor locations in the world.

Iverson Movie Ranch in particular was a hub of the Hollywood film industry through the 1950s, and the most photographed outdoor location ranch in motion picture history.

Situated in the northwest corner of Chatsworth, Iverson Movie Ranch has been used to recreate lands as far away as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the South Seas. The Wild West was a very frequent setting. One of the Chatsworth properties we sold this year included on its grounds the iconic “Ambush Rock” from the Lone Ranger TV series! The reason for the site’s popularity was likely a combination of its profound and unique natural beauty and Hollywood’s “studio zone” rule, which made it beneficial for studios to choose filming locations within 30 miles of Hollywood to keep costs down. Iverson Movie Ranch fell just within this designated area and eventually became the go-to outdoor location for Westerns in particular.

The film history of the ranch began in the early 1900s, when Karl and Augusta Iverson first allowed a movie to be shot on their beautiful 500-acre property in the Santa Susana Mountains. The ranch’s records have been long lost in a fire, but silent films were the first to be shot on site, including Man’s Genesis (1912), My Official Wife (1914), and The Squaw Man (1914). 1912 also was the year the California Aqueduct opened, bringing an influx of commerce and industry to Los Angeles along with the water.

Other television productions and movies filmed at Iverson Movie Ranch include Gunsmoke (1955-1975), Bonanza (1959-1973), Jezebel (1938), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The African Queen (1951), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), and countless others. (See the full filmography on IMDB–there are tons!)

When construction of the 118 freeway was completed, Iverson Movie Ranch’s viability as a filming location was essentially gone. The noise from the freeway traffic would carry across the sandstone hillsides and make recording extremely difficult. In 1982, Joe Iverson sold most of the ranch and it began to be subdivided. What was once “Upper Iverson” is now the site of the exclusive guard gated Indian Springs and Indian Falls communities.