Clark Fork River
Stanislaus National Forest
Clark Fork River originates from the headwaters of Saint Mary's Pass,
which is adjacent to Sonora Pass. This river is truly snowfed and come
spring thaw in April, the snowmelt releases incredible amounts of water,
flowing at high speeds into the U-shaped river canyon, culminating into
a cascading waterfall, pouring down granite embankments, into a 50-foot
U-shaped gorge at elevation 5,600 feet. The river merges downstream at
the confluence of the middle fork Stanislaus River.
Clark Fork River was selected by Michael Landon for the climax of "Forever" ( 1972 ). These are the scenes where Joe confronts Damion and Mr. Hanley that culminates in a fight for life or death between them. The segments were filmed in mid-July of 1972. In August of 1974, Michael returned to the river and waterfalls for selected filmed cuts in "The Lord is My Shepherd". Selected filmed cuts were also shot upstream at Iceberg Meadow. It rests at an elevation of 6,451 feet. Just beyond the meadow looms Iceberg Peak. The granite monolith rises to the elevation of 8,350 feet in the sky.
Season two's "The Camp Out" once again had Michael using the Clark Fork gorge and Sand Flat for selected cuts, with Kennedy Meadows used for other river and meadow shots, in July 1975. Season three's "The Hunters" once again used the Clark Fork gorge and Sand Flat, with other nearby locales in August 1976. For season five's "Men Will Be Boys", Michael returned to Sand Flat in August 1978 for the river shots, with other nearby locales filmed. The last episode to use Clark Fork gorge and also Cottonwood Campground was six's "The Return of Mr. Edwards" made in June 1979, along with other nearby locales. One episode of "Lassie" was filmed in June 1965 at the waterfall gorge, with other filmed cuts at Kennedy Meadows and Pinecrest Lake and ranger station. The name of the episode is "Sudden Fury" when Lassie and Spike get caught in the river, broadcast October 1965, which was the first year the show was filmed in color.
DIRECTIONS: To drive to the Clark Fork River, take I-99 North to Highway 108 in Modesto, east all the way until you are in the Stanislaus National Forest. You make a sharp left onto the Clark Fork Road, and in a mile you will come to the river, and continue to the second bridge, and you will have found it!
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