Big Oaks Lodge from “Beverly Hills, 90210”Dec 1st, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
Before I left on my New York vacation just about two months ago, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I spent a day together stalking in and around the San Fernando Valley. And even though we had a long list of places to stalk, the location we were most excited about seeing had to be a place called Big Oaks Lodge, which was used in the Season 2 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 entitled “Camping Trip”. Before arriving at Big Oaks Lodge, I was actually a little nervous about the drive up there, though, as I had read that the place was located completely out in the middle of nowhere, but, as it turns out, it’s not really as out in the middle of nowhere as I had thought. The Lodge is located a brief twenty minute drive from the City of Santa Clarita, and while the road which leads there is remote, windy, and lacks a Starbucks, it’s really not a bad ride at all. Big Oaks Lodge was originally built in the 1920s as a rest stop and eatery for traveling stagecoaches. In the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the Lodge and its surrounding area became something of a Hollywood hotspot for the likes of such legends as gangster “Pretty Boy” Floyd and the original Brangelina – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford – who even ended up building their own private cabin near the restaurant. In later years, the property served as a training spot for boxers like Mike Quarry and Michael Doakes and even boasted its own outdoor ring, which has since been removed. The Lodge now serves as a meeting place and rest stop and features not one, but two different eateries on the property. The first is a little food stand named the Char House, which serves up such culinary staples as hamburgers, chili, and tri-tip sandwiches and is popular with the Harley Davidson set. The Lodge’s more upscale restaurant is named Cavi and it specializes in authentic homemade Italian food. The Lodge is still popular with celebrities to this day and has played host to talk show host Jay Leno and members of the band ZZ Top.
Big Oaks Lodge is actually much smaller than I expected it to be and consists solely of the main lodge area, which houses Cavi restaurant, the Char House shed, an outdoor patio, and two small cabins, which can be rented out nightly. While stalking the place, Mike and I had the good fortune of meeting one of the Lodge’s owners, who absolutely could NOT believe that we had driven all the way out to Big Oaks just to see a location from an episode of 90210 which had aired over 18 years ago. And, let me tell you, he just about fell over when we showed him Mike’s portable DVD player, where we had the “Camping Trip” episode all cued up. LOL The owner told us we were free to walk around the property and take all of the photographs we wanted. And you really should have seen the two of us! We could not have been more excited and were screaming like little schoolgirls pretty much the entire time! “Oh, look there’s the firewood shed!” and “Ohmigod, there’s the tree Brandon leaned against!” LOL We were both pretty bummed out, though, that neither of the Lodge’s restaurants were open while we were there, as we had hoped to grab a bite to eat during our stalk. But you know what that means, don’t you? My fiancé will definitely be getting dragged out there in the near future so that I can re-stalk the place.
In the “Camping Trip” episode, thanks to a patch of bad weather, Brandon, Brenda and the gang get stuck at Big Oaks Lodge while on their way to a camping trip in Yosemite. The entire episode was pretty much shot on location at the Lodge and made use of the entire Big Oaks property, which I am happy to report still looks very much the same as it did on 90210. Pictured above is Big Oaks’ front entrance, which showed up several times in the episode.
The firewood storage area, which looks a bit different today than it did when 90210 was filmed, was the spot where the gang first took shelter from the rain after pulling over at Big Oaks.
Had to do it! LOL
The “Char House” restaurant stood in for the Lodge’s main office where Brenda and Dylan booked a cabin for the group to spend the night.
Once upon a time there were actually ten different cabins located on the Big Oaks property, but today there are only two and both of those cabins were featured in the “Camping Trip” episode. The 90210 gang stayed in the wood shingled lodge, which at the time of the filming was painted red, but is now a light grey color.
And the Newlyweds stayed in the rock cabin located directly next door.
And although a full exterior shot of the rock cabin was never shown during the episode, as you can see in the above screen capture and photograph, the front door still looks exactly the same today as it did during the filming. Love it! And I was very excited to find out that the real life interiors of both cabins were also used extensively in the episode. Unfortunately, though, the owner didn’t have his keys on him while we were there, so he was not able to take us on a tour of the cabins. Next time!
The picnic table area in front of the Char House was used as the location where the gang fretted about Dylan and Brandon’s early morning disappearance.
The road in front of the Lodge and the main parking area showed up in the scene in which Brandon and Dylan return to the campsite after their little hiking mishap.
And finally, a large tree in the Lodge’s dirt parking lot – aka “Brandon’s tree” – was featured as the spot where Brandon contemplated life after his near death experience of almost falling off a cliff. So, of course, I just had to pose like him!
A little bit of 90210 trivia for you – The highly dramatic scene where Dylan downed a few airplane bottles of liquor (pictured above) was not actually filmed at Big Oaks Lodge, but in the backyard of the real life Walsh house! Mike and I learned that little tidbit of information from the owner of Casa Walsh during our private tour of the home. So cool!
According to the Big Oaks Lodge website, the property has also been featured in the movies Frances, Enough, American Gun, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and in episodes of the television series Dynasty and Highway to Heaven, and in commercials for AT&T and Vonage. It’s a very cool place and I highly recommend stalking it, especially to fans of the original 90210!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Big Oaks Lodge from Beverly Hills, 90210 is located at 33101 Bouquet Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, just nine miles north of where Bouquet Canyon Road intersects with Plum Canyon Road. You can visit the Big Oaks Lodge website here. Cavi restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 5 p.m. The Char House is open Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 11 a.m.