Ever wanted to walk in John Wayne’s footsteps or hunt down outlaws with Marshal Dillon? The “Gunsmoke” of Old Tucson was lots of fun and a highlight of the trip. The High Chaparral TV series set was still there though many of the buildings no longer remain.
It’s too bad that a few years ago, much of the Old Tucson Studios historic TV and movie sets were burned and had to be rebuilt. Arson in this town should be a hanging offense! Despite that, there is still much to see and do.
Many, many western movies and TV shows were filmed at Old Tucson Studios including Little House on the Prairie, the High Chaparral and episodes of Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Next time you’re watching a show, look for the mountains in the background. The sets may have changed but the mountains are still the same! When the fire began, 300 guests and employees were forced to evacuate the park. After about four hours, the flames were finally extinguished. Damages were estimated to be in excess of $10 million, with 25 buildings destroyed including the sound stage. Among the memorabilia destroyed was the wardrobe and street set from the Little House on the Prairie TV series.