The USA is known for its dramatic natural landscapes and you may have seen some of its most famous spots on the big screen already.

Movie buffs, test your trivia and explore some of the amazing American nature spots featured in these classic films:

Utah

You may be surprised to learn that more than 900 big screen and TV filmed have been shot in Utah. Hollywood first discovered its stunning scenery in the 1920s when films like Stagecoach were filmed.

Canyonlands National Park. Photo / iStock
Canyonlands National Park. Photo / iStock

The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, started in 1949, is the longest ongoing film commission in the world. Few people know that Thelma and Louise took their final leap at Dead Horse Point in Canyonlands National Park - not the Grand Canyon. Filming continues today including more recent productions like Gravity, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Lone Ranger and The Need for Speed. Other famous movies filmed in Utah include Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Thelma & Louise, Forrest Gump and Independence Day.

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A fly-drive holiday on the movie route will allow you to discover some of the stars' hideouts as well as some of the most spectacular scenery and colours to be found anywhere in the world.

California

The hub of the USA's movie business, there are many pop culture landmarks to be explored within California's outdoors.

Bronson Canyon. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Bronson Canyon. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Bronson Canyon, Los Angeles

: This famous cave was featured in the 1960s

Batman

TV series as well as in

Wild Wild West, The Lone Ranger

and several other blockbuster films and TV shows.

Griffith Observatory. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Griffith Observatory. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Griffith Park Observatory

: This landmark is one of L.A.'s most famous movie locations, perhaps best known for its appearance in

Rebel Without a Cause

starring James Dean. A commemorative bust of Dean is located on the west side of the grounds.

Hiking in Griffith Park. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
Hiking in Griffith Park. Photo / Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Observatory Tunnel

: The tunnel scenes from cult-hit movie

Back to the Future

were filmed at Observatory Tunnel in Griffith Park. Forced perspective tricks, including a wide-angle lens and unevenly-placed interior lights, made the tunnel look much longer on-screen than it is in reality.

Other California Destinations

Death Valley National Park

: It may be the hottest and driest place in North America, but that doesn't stop nearly 1 million people from visiting the beautiful park, which straddles the border of California and Nevada, every year.

Death Valley National Park. Photo / Visit the USA
Death Valley National Park. Photo / Visit the USA

Despite its ominous name, there's a great diversity of life forms and fun activities for travellers, and film makers have been making movies in the park since the 1920's.

Famous films shot in Death Valley include Spartacus and the original Tarzan film, but the most famous are undisputedly Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Death Valley was used for these films precisely because it is so unique, and indeed looks like another planet.

Pacific Crest Trail

Cascade Loop, on the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo / Visit the USA
Cascade Loop, on the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo / Visit the USA

The Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches 4265 kilometers from Mexico to Canada through Washington, Oregon and California, offers breathtaking views, as can be seen in the movie Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. The film, and the trail, reveal the beauty and variety that can be found in the Western United States - the desert, the glaciated expanse of the Sierra Nevada, beautiful forests, as well as vistas of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range.

Wyoming

Hollywood has a longstanding fascination with Wyoming (known as the cowboy state), whose vast landscapes have appeared in more than 120 films, predominantly Westerns. The rolling hills, steep snow-capped Teton mountain range, and vast plains have served as a movie backdrop for over a century.

Grand Teton National Park. Photo / Visit the USA
Grand Teton National Park. Photo / Visit the USA

Much of the focus is on the locations of Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, as well as Yellowstone National Park.

Some of the famous films shot in Wyoming include Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained, as well as Brokeback Mountain, Nebraska, Dances with Wolves, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and many more.

For more information on these destinations, see www.visittheusa.com.au

- nzherald.co.nz