Holes movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Holes filmed?

2003

About Holes

In the opening Holes film scene, the Yelnats are plagued by bad luck, a trait they blame on a family member who did not deliver on a promise to the well-known fortune teller Madame Zeroni one hundred years ago in Latvia. Stanley Yelnats IV is falsely accused of stealing some shoes that were given to a charity by beloved baseball player Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston. As a result, he is convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He is mandated to fulfill his term at Camp Green Lake.

The camp is managed by Louise Walker, Mr. Sir, and Dr. Pendanski. The prisoners (Zero, Zigzag, Armpit, Squid, X-Ray, Magnet) spend their days digging holes. Mr. Sir saves Stanley from a poisonous lizard. They find a golden lipstick tube engraved with the initials KB and a unique fossil remnant.

Stanley is blamed for taking Mr. Sir’s sunflower seeds, a crime committed by Magnet. Stanley goes to the warden’s house where he finds vintage posters that show that KB stands for Katherine Kissin Kat Barlow, a former schoolteacher that is now an outlaw. Walker requests Stanley fetch her nail polish. Mr. Sir and Stanley explain the truth about the sunflower seeds, and Stanley is released.

The history of Camp Green is shown in several flashbacks. Barlow is courted by Charles “Trout” Walker, a wealthy man in whom she has no interest. She is then pursued by an African American onion merchant with whom she begins a romance. Walker and the town’s racist residents set the schoolhouse ablaze and kill Sam. Barlow murders the sheriff and then goes after Walker’s men. As a final act of rebellion, she takes a chest full of treasure from Stanley Yelnats, Senior.

Twenty years pass, and the Wilders find Barlow and demand she surrender their money. Barlow insists they dig to find it. She is bitten by a lizard and dies. Stanley locates Hector, and the two struggle to survive in the desert since they have no water. Stanley carries a sick Hector uphill where they find onions and some water. Stanley unwittingly fulfills the promise to the fortune teller, and she lifts the family curse. Hector informs Stanley that he took Livingston’s shoes and pitched them over the bridge to avoid the police but instead they smacked Stanley in the head.

The two men return to camp and go back to look at the hole where Stanley discovered the lipstick. They are surprised to find a chest there. They are found by Walker, Mr. Sir, and Pendanski. They realize who try to unsuccessfully steal the treasure, and the hole fills with lizards who will not attack Stanley and Hector because of the onions they consumed.

The attorney general, Stanley’s lawyer, and the rangers arrive. They inform Stanley the chest he discovered belonged to his great grandfather and Pendanski are criminals and are arrested. Stanley and Zero are set free, and the Yelnat family is given the chest.

City Locations

California: Atolia, Cantil, Hollywood, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Newhall, Valencia, Ventura

Location Types

American, NatureScapes, Colonial, Police/Jails, Schools/Colleges

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Dated/50's-60's-70's Building, Desert, School

Holes Locations

Filmed in the United States in 2003, Holes is a comic drama produced by filmmaker Andrew Davis. The screenplay was written by Louis Sachar and was based on the book that went to print in 1998. The cast in this film includes such well-respected actors as Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Plank, and Shia LaBeouf.

Upon its US release, Holes was an instant commercial success. The film was well-received by most critics who praised the actors’ performances and the movie’s nostalgic feel. The filming locations for Holes are almost exclusively in California.

Among the cities where filming occurred are Atolia, Cantil, Hollywood, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Newhall, Valencia, and Ventura. Is Holes one of your fave films? If so, why not plan a trip to visit the filming locations for Holes? You’re sure to have a memorable time!

Fun Fact:

The movie begins with a dedication to Scott Plank who passed away in a tragic accident six months prior to the film’s release.

Stanley meets Mr. Sir at Camp Green Lake scene in Holes

Melody Movie Ranch, 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Santa Clarita, CA

Stanley is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to serve 18 months at Camp Green Lake. Upon arrival at the camp, he gets off the bus and thanks the driver. He asks the guard, “So, uh, where’s the lake?” And the guard responds, “Eh…what did I just tell you? Don’t be a wise guy. Follow me.”

He is taken to meet Mr. Sir, an intimidating man who is eating and spitting out sunflower seeds.

Guard: What’s with the sunflower seeds, man?

Mr. Sir: I’ve given up smoking. (He picks up a file). Stanley Yelnats…the Fourth.

Stanley: Yeah, everyone in my family names their sons Stanley because it’s Yelnats backward. It’s like this little…ummm…tradition.

Mr. Sir: My name is Mr. Sir.

(Stanley stifles a laugh.)

Whenever you speak to me, you will call me by my name.

Stanley: Yes, Mr. Sir.

To visit this former Holes film set, travel southwest on Market Street, and make a right onto Railroad Avenue. Make another right-hand turn onto 13th Street. Continue following 13th Street until it merges into Arch Street, making a left at 12th Street. Keep traveling onto Placeritos Boulevard, making a right-hand turn onto Quigley Canyon Road then another left onto Placerita Canyon Road. A final left onto Oakcreek Avenue will bring you to your destination.

The future love of Kissing Kate Barlow sells onions in the street scene in Holes

Walt Disney's Golden Oak Ranch, 19802 Placerita Canyon Rd, Newhall, CA

In this Holes scene, a flashback sequence opens in a small rural town. Kissing Kate Barlow’s soon-to-be love is selling his onions in the town square. The following conversation takes place in this funny scene in Holes.

Onion merchant: Get your sweet, sweet magical onions! Get your elixirs, health potions, honey tonics! Onions, get your onions here, folks! God’s own chosen vegetable! Nature’s magic vegetable right here, folks. Mr. Collinwood, let me see that head of yours.

Mr. Collinwood: My head?

Onion merchant: Yes, sir. Yeah, that’s what I thought. I got exactly what you need. (Speaking to his wife) Rub this on his head every night, Mrs. Collinwood, and before you know it, his hair is going to be as long and as thick as Marylou’s mane (his horse).

In one of the very few scenes shot at a film studio, you can reach Golden Oak Ranch by taking bus lines 301, 302, or 50. Or you can drive yourself, use a rideshare app, or call a cab.

Stanley writes a letter to his family scene in Holes

Leconte Middle School, 1316 N Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Stanley writes a letter to his parents while a montage plays, showing that he is putting a very positive spin on what his days at Camp Green Lake are actually like. In his letter, he writes.

“Dear Mom, I’m having a wonderful time at camp. The food’s great. Not as good as yours, of course, but I like it. We’ve been out on the lake all day. Once I pass the swimming test, I get to learn how to water ski. I’ve made lots of friends. And the water is cool and refreshing. You’d like my counselor. He’s a doctor. I’m really enjoying the wildlife. The other boys aren’t bad kids. Like me, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Well, that’s it for now, Mom. Say hi to Dad and Grandpa for me. Love, your son, Stanley.”

To visit this Holes filming location, you have a couple of options for public transit. You can travel on bus lines 180, 207, or 217 or take the Subway’s B Line (Red). To get there by vehicle, you can rent a car, call a taxi, or use a rideshare service.

Louise finds out that Zero has been forced to dig holes for other prisoners scene in Holes

Mojave Desert, California

Stanley and Zig-Zag get into a fight after digging holes in the desert. The boys are brought before Mr. Sir and Louise Walker who try to get to the bottom of what happened. The following conversation takes place in one of the best scenes in Holes.

Louise: Is that what happened Zig-Zag?

Zig-Zag: Ya. Like X-ray said, you know, working all day in the hot sun. You know, while Caveman sits around and does nothin’.

Louise: Excuse me? Caveman digs his hole just like everyone else.

Zig-Zag: Sometimes.

Louise: Excuse me?

Zig-Zag’s friend: Ma’am, Zero’s been digging a part of Caveman’s hole every day.

Mr. Sir: You’re not digging holes no more? Huh?

Stanley: I-I’m teaching him how to read.

Mr. Sir: What? He’s a smart kid.

Dr. Pendanski: Smart? Oh, yeah? Hey, Zero—what does C-A-T spell? Huh? What’s it spell? Yeah, he’s a real genius. He’s so stupid he doesn’t even know he’s stupid.

This scene was shot in several sections of the Mojave Desert in California. In an immense natural space, it is not possible to pinpoint the exact spot where filming occurred. Still, it is well worth your time to come to explore this beautiful recreational area. You’ll easily be able to envision this scene unfolding in the heart of the scorching hot desert plains. To get to the Mojave Desert in California, follow Interstate 15 from Baker.

Stanley and Hector climb uphill to find food and water in the desert scene in Holes

Red Rock State Park, 37749 Abbott Dr, Cantil, CA

Carrying Hector on his back, Stanley climbs the mountain in search of food and water to help keep them both alive. They fight off flies, and as Stanley shoos them away, he exclaims to himself, “D*mn bugs!” Suddenly, a realization dawns on him, and he shares these words with Hector in one of the best action scenes in Holes, “Wait a minute, wait…there’s bugs! That must mean there’s…WATER!”

To get to this film-shoot location, you can drive yourself or call a cab. Take Highway 14 near Cantil for approximately 25 miles. You will need to continue to travel west for 1/4 mile on Abbott Drive. You will see a sign indicating the exit for Red Rock Canyon State Park directly off the highway. Rideshare services are also available in this area.

The staff of Camp Green Lake is arrested scene in Holes

Cuddeback Dry Lake, San Bernadino, CA

In the final scene in Holes, the staff is exposed and arrested. This conversation takes place between the former prison staff and the arresting officer, a Texas Ranger.

Arresting officer: Marion Sevilo, it’s been a long time since El Paso. Marion, you’re in violation of your parole carrying this weapon.

Louise: I had no knowledge of that.

Mr. Sir: Oh, yeah. Just like you didn’t know Pendanski wasn’t no doctor neither.

Arresting officer: Sit down, Marion. You’re under arrest…again.

To get to Cuddeback Dry Lake, the site of this iconic film scene, follow the signs found in the Mojave Desert National Preserve. You can drive yourself, use a rideshare app, or call a taxi.

Conclusion

A classic film that has become a much beloved movie for people of all ages, Holes offers an incredibly diverse and beautiful landscape for all to enjoy. Featuring some of the most stunning scenery from cities, natural spaces, and desert locales all throughout Southern California, this movie is a true delight to watch not just for the entertainment but also for the landscape.

Planning a trip to visit the Holes filming locations? Our definitive guide of where some of the best scenes were shot is a great place to start in planning your itinerary!