The Shining movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Shining filmed?

1980

About The Shining

The Shining is a 1980 horror film directed by the talented Stanley Kubrick, based on Stephen King's 1977 novel. The film stars Jack Nicholson, as scary Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, played by Shelley Duvall, and their son Danny, played by the young Danny Lloyd. The trio spends five months in a hotel called The Overlook in the isolated mountains of Colorado after Jack is given the job of the wintertime caretaker.

Unbeknownst to Jack and Wendy, the previous caretaker went insane and murdered his family. Danny possesses a supernatural power known as "The Shining" that allows him to see the hotel's dark past, and he finds out the hotel is haunted by the ghosts of the murdered family. As the harsh winter arrives and the family is stranded inside, Jack, living in isolation and struggling with writer's block and troubled by the hotel's past, begins to lose his mind.

The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made, and it has significantly influenced pop culture. In particular, the iconic "Here's Johnny!" scene has been referenced and parodied numerous times. It is worth saying, the film was nominated for numerous Academy Awards. Although it did not win any Oscars, the movie has been listed on several "best of" lists, including the American Film Institute's 100 Years..100 Best Quotes list as #68. Read on to see where The Shining filming locations were.

City Locations

Montana, Colorado, Oregon (USA)

Location Types

Park, Forest, Studio, Airport

Location Styles

Luxury Hotel, Dated/Retro

The Shining Locations

The Overlook Hotel is the ideal setting for a film like The Shining. Its isolation and immense size only add to the loneliness and fear Wendy and Danny felt. There are many facets to the film that make it so enigmatic, but one of the most important elements is the visual style.

Kubrick was known for his meticulously crafted shots, and The Shining is no exception. Every frame of the film is loaded with meaning, from the sweeping aerial shots of the Overlook Hotel to the tight close-ups of Jack Nicholson's increasingly crazed face. This timeless story is one that will continue to entertain and terrify audiences for years to come, and the locations of Mount Hood National Forest and Glacier National Park as two crucial settings were amazing locales to make it all happen.

The Torrance's apartment scene in The Shining

Kensington Apartments, 2950 Bixby Lane, Boulder, Colorado

The Boulder apartment is the first home of the Torrance family in The Shining. Jack, Wendy, and Danny move to Boulder so that Jack can take a job as the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. The apartment is described as small but cozy, and it quickly becomes clear that the family is struggling to adjust to life in a new city.

As the plot progresses, the isolation of the apartment begins to take its toll on all three members of the family. Wendy starts to feel trapped, and Danny has terrifying visions. While it is only a temporary home, the Boulder apartment plays an important role in setting up the events of The Shining.

The apartment building is located on Bixby Lane, just a few blocks from the campus of the University of Colorado. In addition, the apartment building's distinctive architecture can be seen in several establishing shots throughout the film. Today, the Kensington Apartments continue to operate as a student housing complex, and it remains a popular tourist destination for fans of The Shining.

Family drive to the resort scene in The Shining

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

The first thing that strikes you as you see the filming locale of Glacier National Park is the silence. The air is thick and still, and the only sound is the crunch of boots on the trail. The landscape changes from forests of Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine to wide open snowy expanses. Despite the silence, there is a feeling of life all around. Even the mountains seem alive, as their jagged peaks loom overhead. But still, there is utter quiet. It is an otherworldly place, and it's easy to see why filmmakers have been drawn here for the filming of The Shining.

The opening scene of The Shining is one of the most memorable in horror movie history. It immediately sets the tone for the film, with the family driving through a beautiful but eerie landscape. This is further emphasized by the sound of the car engine, which slowly builds to a roar as the family speeds toward their destination. By the time they arrive at the Overlook Hotel, the viewer is already on edge, and ready for whatever scares lie ahead. This scene was filmed on Going-to-the-Sun Road, leading into Glacier National Park.

The production crew did a terrific job filming the car as it climbed. The road was clear and the weather was warm. As the car made its way closer to the lodge, the winter landscape began to appear. As a result, the beginning is one of the most iconic scenes in The Shining.

Leaving The Overlook Hotel scene in The Shining

Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

The location used for the exterior of the Overlook Hotel was Timberline Lodge, located on the south face of Mount Hood in Mount Hood National Forest, Clackamas County, Oregon. The lodge is situated off Timberline Highway, which runs parallel to Highway 26, and can be accessed via West Leg Road. The lodge was built in the 1930s and is still a popular ski resort.

The snowcat scene where Wendy and Danny escape in the film is in front of the resort. It’s a dark and stormy night, perfect for the ending of the movie. Jack is left behind and freezes in the maze outside the hotel. You can hear him yelling, “Wait!” but the audience is not sure of his intentions. Does he not want to be left behind?

Either way, Timberline Lodge remains a popular destination for tourists and horror fans alike today, offering stunning views of Mount Hood and the surrounding area. It’s a popular destination for all kinds of visitors, who come to enjoy extensive hiking and skiing trails, and a variety of accommodation options. Nearby, the Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum chronicles the history of Mount Hood and the surrounding area. Visitors can take advantage of the lodge's many amenities, including a restaurant, gift shop, and ski school.

Conclusion

The Shining took a simple concept of a haunted hotel and built it up into an unforgettable, psychological horror that will withstand the test of time.

The central performances are what make this adaptation so unforgettable. Jack Nicholson is at his raw overacting best, Nicholson's work walks a fine line between disturbing yet oddly hilarious. There's a sense of exhaustion and irritability behind those wild eyes. You get a sense he's already too far gone by the time they arrive, but his gradual descent into madness is truly horrifying.

Shelley Duvall who struggled during the film's grueling and notoriously hostile production elevated her acting and she did a wondrous job, capturing the vulnerability and desperation of the overprotective mother Wendy Torrance. Even though Nicholson steals the majority of the scenes he's in, Shelley holds her own and the two have amazing on-screen chemistry.