Iverson Ranch is situated in the Santa Susanna Mountains, in the northwest corner of Chatsworth. It's been used for thousands of motion pictures, serials and television series. The rocky terrain has been used to simulate Africa, Asia, the South Seas, the old west, and any locale the studios wished to provide. The first production made at Iverson was "My Official Wife" in 1914.
In its heyday, the ranch had a Western street, a three-sided ranchouse with a barn, and many small buildings commonly used as outlaw shacks, stagecoach stops, etc. The magnificent rock formations and general terrain made Iverson a staple film site for any Hollywood production. The Garden of the Gods and Cliffs of Nyoka were two regions commonly used at the ranch. The "Tarzan" films based in the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs were filmed at the ranch from 1932 through 1958.
In 1966, the State of California began construction on the Simi Valley Freeway. This major expressway cut the Iverson Ranch in half, being built through the northern edge of the Lower Iverson. The ranch was doomed as a filming locale, with the freeway in place. The high decibel sound levels caused by the traffic passing through the Santa Susanna Mountains made filming impossible. Any post-1966 filming had to be done on the Upper Iverson property.
Joe Iverson sold the Lower Iverson to Robert G. Sherman in 1982. He began to subdivide the majority of the property. By the late 80's, most of the ranch was subdivided into three sections. Upper Iverson became Indian Springs/Indian Falls, an exclusive gated community, with some homesites the size of mansions. Middle Iverson is Summerset Village, which is made up of luxurious rental apartments. Lower Iverson is California West, a private residential condominium community. In 1998, Sherman sold the ranch to a family which holds its remaining acreage intact.
Filmed cuts of "Bonanza" episodes at Iverson Ranch include "Death on Sun Mountain", "The Paiute War", "Escape to Ponderosa", "The Last Trophy", "Desert Justice", "Vengeance", "Day of Reckoning", "The Savage", "The Blood Line", "The Last Viking", "The Rescue", "Cutthroat Junction", "The Secret", "Breed of Violence", "The Spitfire", "Denver McKee", "The Smiler", "The Honor of Cochise", "The Frenchman", "The Auld Sod", "Look to the Stars", "The Dowry", "The Gamble", "The Crucible", "The Long Night", "The Ride", "Day of the Dragon", "The War Comes to Washoe", "The Beginning", "The Deadly Ones", "The Boss", "The Way of Aaron", "My Brother's Keeper", "The Hayburner", "King of the Mountain", "Walter and the Outlaws", "Invention of a Gunfighter", "The Scapegoat", "The Underdog", "The Far, Far Better Thing", "A Knight to Remember", "The Passing of a King", "The Unwanted", "Meena" and "Caution: Easter Bunny Crossing".
DIRECTIONS: To reach the Iverson Movie Ranch from Los Angeles, take the Golden State Freeway (5) north to the Simi Valley Freeway (118) west. The area surrounding the freeway from just before Topanga Canyon Boulevard to less than a mile farther west is the site of the ranch. The Lower Iverson is on the left and the Middle and Upper Iverson is to the right.
Exit from the freeway at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and turn left (southward) passing beneath the freeway. The trailer court on the right side is where the western street once stood. Turn right at Santa Susanna Pass Road. At Redmesa Drive, turn right and head up the hill. Park just before you come to the first condominiums.
Note: Except for the major rock formations, most of the Lower Iverson is covered with condominiums. The Middle Iverson is partially open to the public, but apartments cover the main filming area, so there is no longer anything to see there, and the Upper Iverson is a private gated community and is no longer open to the public.