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Posts: 797

Was watching The Gauntlet yesterday.
I always heard the scene with the helicopter crashing into the wires was filmed near Superior, Arizona.   Not true.

It was filmed "in the canyons about 25 miles from Las Vegas". Shot in approximately April, 1977.
They built an 80 foot tower and hung an engine-less Gazelle from the wires then blew it up (at a cost of $250,000).

Does anyone recognize the area?   Red Rock Canyon?   Is that Potosi or one of those ridges in the background?

About 3 minutes 45 seconds into this video you can see a short production clip of the crash.   Then Clint runs into the burning helicopter to salvage an expensive camera. HA

I wonder if they cleaned it up very good?  It's right by a road.

Chris B.

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Posts: 30

I live in Vegas and hiked around often.
So, it was super easy for me.
I could locate it without double checking the GE.
Anyway, I took the GE hard copy and compared with movie image.

It is located in Red Rock Canyon near Willow Springs picnic area.
 36° 9.786'N 115° 30.330'W

Anyway, I didn't know they took the movie at there. It was a big surprise for me.


Posts: 797
Amazing .. you found that fast!
Thank you, Shin. [smile]

I'd be curious if there was anything left behind . . . even though it's just a Hollywood crash.   I see some possible shiny bits, maybe the tower footings.  Probably just rocks though.

If you're ever up there you'll have to scratch "Clint Was Here" on a stone.

Nice GE work!

I wish it was in Arizona I'd go sniff around.

I know where they filmed it in downtown Phoenix.  But there wouldn't be any bus wreckage left.  HA

It must've had a small motor in it because the rotor blades are spinning.

Chris B.


Posts: 797
I had looked real quick in the 1977 newspapers for any Gauntlet filming locations but they didn't give specifics.   I'm glad you pinned it down.

It was funny though because they mentioned another 1977 movie (Assault In Paradise) (never heard of it).  
They filmed some scenes on Pinnacle Peak - Scottsdale.

There was complaints that the film crew had left burned helicopter junk behind in the park.
While filming this scene … Bell 47 lands and then the kid throws a grenade under it.  BOOM!

Chris B.

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Posts: 30

I really don't think anything left there. 

Since its in the dry wash and over 40 years ago, all the small deblis are under the ground.
The dart road in the movie (where the bike was parked) is currently rocky/sandy/brushy dry wash. 


Posts: 30

I went to the crash site today.
Unfortunately, the crash site had changed a lot in last 40 years.
The dart road in the movie where is the bottom of the dry wash had changed by erosion.
The boulder in the blue circle had completely gone.

I tried to look for any debris of Helo, but no luck.

Then I hiked up to the hill on the left looking for the power line tower debris. I found few trail-ish route that clearly created by human, but didn't find anything but broken water pipe.

Then I hiked to the hill on the right looking for the other end of power line.
In the movie, I saw 2 scene carpenter was working at there (in red circle) also end of the power line ends up there.

So, I scrambled up the location where the 2 scene carpenter was....BINGO !!
I found a metal piece that looks like they used in the movie. Also, found a few empty aluminium cans.

The metal piece was the Wire rope clip.

Since I don't drink beer, I didn't recognize what kind of beer it was. I had never seen that label before. I know coors, but it doesn't looks new.
I googled the "Schlitz beer" and found they defunct back in 1999. (currently they are making a little bit, but it is not original)
So, I guess one of the carpenter liked Schlitz and other liked Coors.[biggrin]

BTW, the main actress "Sondra Locke" past away just 2 months ago. (Nov.3rd 2018)


Posts: 797
How cool is that, Shin?!

I think those are really neat finds.
Old movie set.

You were right about helicopter debris, looks like it lands on the road, and is just washed away now. Might've been a mostly plywood mockup anyway.

Very nice photos.

It's funny they were having beers filming a stunt. Ha

Nice work.
Thanks for posting the information.

Chris B.

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Posts: 380
Wasn’t Clint a drinker of Schlitz Beer? Interesting finds, but I’m surprised the crew thoroughly cleaned up the wrecked copter so well. How far off Blue Diamond Highway was this film set?
Research of historical civil and commercial aviation accidents and sites (1920s-1990s). http://www.lostflights.com

Posts: 30

The location is deep inside of Red Rock Canyon and more than 5 miles off the Blue Diamond Rd.
Back in the day, it was not "Red Rock National Conservation Area" yet, but it was "Red Rock Recreation Lands".
I guess there was no 13 mile scenic loop Road, but there was a road (currently the part of "Ground Circle Loop trail") started from the Blue Diamond Rd at Red Rock Canyon entrance gate.
Instead of the 13 mile scenic loop goes circle around the Red Rock Canyon, that old road went straight to the entrance of this canyon and turned to the "Rocky Gap Road" that goes over the hill and get down to the Lovell Canyon.

When I went the location, I found big rock circle filled with the small rocks like big old fire ring.
Since, there are many people go there for hiking/camping, I was not sure if that was just an old fire ring or burial of movie prop.
I don't have metal detector and didn't want to dig it up.

Shin G.


Posts: 797
Too bad they didn't leave this behind.  Vertical tail from the Gazelle.

Gauntlet crew with Gazelle tail vertical.jpg 

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