** November 2018 - UPDATE - The Woolsey Fire has almost completely burned down Paramount Ranch. Only the church survived the devastating fires.
Paramount Ranch is a national park site with a real-life Western themed motion picture set. It is actually still being used today for filming. Some recent television shows that have been filmed here are The Mentalist, Drunk History, The X Files, and Weeds.
There is plenty of parking and the entrance is free. I went on a weekday and there were only a handful of people exploring the Western Town. It's a fairly small area, so you can easily explore it within 30 minutes.
There are a lot of little creatures running around Western Town like rabbits, lizards, and squirrels. I even saw people horseback riding. I rarely get to see horses up-close, so that was a nice surprise. I tried to get a photo of the horses, but by the time I got my camera out they were already gone!
All of the buildings in Western Town are locked, which was a little disappointing. You can take a peek inside through the windows, but it was pretty empty. One of the buildings had an old piano and that was it. I'm assuming it only gets staged during filming.
There is a huge shaded seating area behind one of the buildings where you can rest or have a nice picnic. If you want to get creative, you can take a ton of western themed photos here. I saw a couple all dressed up as a cowboy and cowgirl taking engagement photos.
After you are done exploring Western Town, you can go straight into your hike. I did not go on any of the hikes that day, but a quick look at the map showed that they were easy hikes and the longest one being only two miles.
If you're lucky, you might happen to stop by on a day when there is some filming going on. Yee Haw!
All photos taken by Stacy Toyama.
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