Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? A Hysterical 80’s Flick!


Are you looking for a great comedy film that you can enjoy with your family while you laugh your head off? Well, look no more, because in this article I will discuss a comedy-drama movie, The Great Outdoors, and also let you in on where was The Great Outdoors Filmed. 

The Great Outdoors released in 1988 is a comedy film that showcases the story of two families as they go for a short trip to a small town of Pechoggin, Wisconsin overlooking a lake resort.

The hysterical events that take place in the film during the vacation are absolutely entertaining. Despite the average ratings the movie received from the critics, it’s still worth a watch to laugh yourself silly. 

Allow me to discuss the plot of The Great Outdoors, in brief just so you may have a better concept of the actual storyline.

Plot Of The Great Outdoors | What’s It About

The film begins on a light note, showing Chester (Chet) and Connie Ripley, traveling from Chicago  along with their kids Buck and Ben to a small lake town of Pechoggin, Wisconsin. The Ripleys’ upon reaching the vacation spot, unexpectedly meet Connie’s sister Kate and her alleged crooked and rich husband Roman Craig boarding the same cabin.

The tension between the two families soon loosen up as they exchange hilarious spooky stories of man-eating grizzly “Bald-Headed-Bear” that almost ruined Chet’s honeymoon plans! Later, Roman realizes his mistake and decides to sort out the previous misunderstandings of the two families.

As Roman reaches back to the cabin, his daughters go missing! Chet and others start looking for Mara and Cara, only to find them trapped in an old mine shaft. All hell breaks loose as they encounter the “Bald-Headed-Bear” and they try to run away from it but the bear tracks them back to their cabin. 

Finally, the bear is chased away with a shotgun, as both the families rejoice in getting back the daughters home safely. The comical dialogues and screenplay in the movie are absolutely entertaining. Now we’ll find out where was The Great Outdoors filmed, so that you may have a significantly improved experience the next time you watch this film!

Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? Various Locations In California.

The principal photography of the film began in October 1987, and was completed in almost 3 weeks time. The director along with the production crew decided to shoot the film on a location in California, where locals and nearby residents usually went to spend their vacation with family.

The team finalized on Bass Lake, California as their prime location to shoot the small resort town, as shown in the film. While the majority of the scenes were filmed around the Bass Lake near Yosemite National Park, some minor scenes were filmed in a different location at the Universal Studios in California, Paramount Ranch and Chicago, Illinois.

So without further ado, let’s find out more about these scenic locations!

Bass Lake | California

Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? A Hysterical 80’s Flick!! 

In the movie, The Great Outdoors, the devised town of Pechoggin in Wisconsin, was actually Bass Lake, a small resort town in California! The location seemed perfect for the production team, as most of the elements they required to recreate a fun vacation spot were already there. 

The Bass Lake, being located near the Yosemite National Park was mostly visited by locals with their families to enjoy. Lodging in country-styled cabins, building bonfires for barbecues and fishing by the lake were almost done by every other tourist, which inspired the crew members to showcase the same in their film.

Wally and Juanita’s Pine Lodge featured in the film was in reality Ducey’s Bass Lake Lodge. The scene where Buck romances with a local girl at a restaurant was filmed here in a Surf Shop nearby. 

Although the bar scenes were captured in the Pines Bar in Bass Lake, was a little far from the actual prime location for filming. Some other popular films like Mouse Hunt and Meatballs 4 were also filmed at this location.

Paramount Ranch | California

Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? A Hysterical 80’s Flick!! 

The go-kart and golf playing sequence where the kids and Ripleys’ went to try out some outdoor activities were filmed at Paramount Ranch. It is around 6 hrs drive from the Yosemite National Park, a beautiful ranch built to enjoy fun and adventurous activities actually exists to this day.

You might be amused to know, that American Sniper, Van Helsing and The Girl Next Door were filmed at Paramount Ranch in California. 

Universal Studios | California

Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? A Hysterical 80’s Flick!! 

A look alike cabin resembling Ducey’s Bass Lake Lodge, was built on the backlot of Universal Studios in California. The interiors of the original cabin were also recreated and built on this set to capture the sequence where the bear tracks back the Ripleys’ to their cabin at Pechoggin. 

However the production crew did not intend on keeping the same name of the lodge and decided to change the name to Loon’s Nest, a vacation cabin that purely mimicked the real one!

Other Filming Locations

Where Was The Great Outdoors Filmed? A Hysterical 80’s Flick!! 

Some minor sequences of the movie were done in Chicago, Illinois to portray the backstory of the Ripleys’ as they are shown in the film, to originally live in Chicago. But other than that no other information pertaining to the production filming at this location can be found.

Final Words 

So, now that you’ve read the narrative of the film and know where was The Great Outdoors filmed, I hope you’ll give it a watch if you haven’t already. This film will surely give you a delightful experience, the sort that you’d expect from a hilarious comedy genre based film.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please visit Viebly to read more informative and entertaining articles about filming locations of other movies and shows. Until then, peace out!

Who Are The Cast Members Of The Film, The Great Outdoors?

The cast of The Great Outdoors includes Dan Aykryod, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy, Chris Young, Hilary Gordon and Annette Bening.

Who Produced The Film, The Great Outdoors?

John Hughes was the producer of the film, The Great Outdoors.

Who Directed The Film, The Great Outdoors?

Robert Deutch directed the film, The Great Outdoors.

Who Wrote The Screenplay Of The Film, The Great Outdoors?

John Hughes wrote the screenplay for the film, The Great Outdoors.

What Is The Runtime Of The Film, The Great Outdoors?

1h 31m is the runtime of the film, The Great Outdoors.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here