Living in the Southern California, you can celebrate “Star Trek” by visiting set locations. The best things in life are free and entrance on to Vasquez Rocks is free as part of the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.
Vasquez Rocks a short drive to Antelope Valley in Agua Dulce. On you hit the residential streets, drive carefully. The Los Angeles County park appears in “Arena,” “Shore Leave,” “The Alternative Factor” and “Friday’s Child.”
“Shore Leave”: The crew beams down to a planet unaware that its the ultimate wish fulfillment playground. You think it and it becomes reality and none of the consequences are permanent so (Spoiler Alert) when McCoy dies, he isn’t really dead.
“Arena”: An invitation to visit a colony on Cestus III, turns out to be a set up for annihilation, but Kirk and his landing party lose a red shirt, but escape only to be pursued by the Gorn. Luckily, there’s one survivor who gives us exposition on the aliens. The question becomes who are the aliens when the Enterprise and the alien spaceship enter the Metron solar system and the highly advance Metrons force the captains to battle to the death.
“The Alternative Factor”: Two men are from two different universes and one, driven insane by the realization of an alternative universe with an alter ego, attempts to murder the other. In order to maintain the two separate universes, the sane version of the duo opts to be locked in battle for eternity with himself. I guess this puts a different face on feeling conflicted.
“Friday’s Child”: In a bit of Cold War commentary, Kirk and the Klingons attempt to make a deal with the Capellans. The Capellans are a war-like bunch and during the Cold War Kirk and Klingon standoff, a murderous coup takes place leaving a pregnant widow. The kill the cub coup is quashed by Kirk but leaves Kirk, McCoy, Spock and the rest of the crew in danger as the widow delivers the baby.
Vasquez Rocks has been used in many other TV and film productions.
Other possible places to visit are the Franklin Canyon Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains which as used for “The Paradise Syndrome.”
You can also visit Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park where “This Side of Paradise,” “Bread and Circuses” and “A Private Little War” were filmed.
There’s also what was TRW in Redondo Beach. “Operation–Annihilate” was filmed there, but the Deneva Colony is gone as changes were made.
Vasquez Rocks, named after a famous bandit (Tiburcio Vasquez), was also used for “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” as the planet Vulcan. “Star Trek” The Next Generation” used the location for the episode “Who Watches the Watchers.” “Star Trek: Voyager” also used this locations for the moon surface in “Initiations” and the desert for “Gravity.”
Lastly, J.J. Abrams used the location for the 2009 movie “Star Trek.”
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
10700 West Escondido Canyon Road
Agua Dulce, CA 91350
March 13, 2014 – September, 2014: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
September 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Interpretive Center Hours are Tuesday – Sunday 8:00am to 4:00 pm
Closed Mondays, except Holidays.