No tour of movie Western filming locations with your dog would be complete without a stop at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, just north of Los Angeles. Both Rin Tin Tin and Lassie, the two biggest canine action heroes in cinematic history, mugged for the camera in these rock formations shaped by the San Andreas Fault over which they rest. The rocks are named for Tiburcio Vásquez, one of California’s most notrious stage coach robbers of the 18oos who used the sloping rocks as a hideout.
The Vasquez Rocks are now a Los Angeles County park and popular with climbers and hikers. Your dog is welcome to join in the fun but if you choose to investigate the rocks off the trails make sure to bring a good map. And keep an eye out for movie crews. Your dog may be the next big star.
By the way, if you are ever in Paris you can visit Rin Tin Tin’s gravesite. He was buried in the Cimetiere des Chiens in Asnieres-sur-Siene, thought to be the world’s first pet cemetery, established in 1899. The graveyard is in a northwest suburb of Paris and a long hike from downtown will get you there.
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