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Monday June 18th 2018

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home | 1986

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: ‘Sausalito Cetacean Institute’: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California

After a couple of almost totally studio-bound sequels, the Star Trek big-screen series begins to use real California locations with this eco-conscious adventure. The crew of the Enterprise zooms back to 1986 San Francisco in time to save the whale.

Arriving in San Francisco, the crew splits up at the junction of Columbus, Kearny and Pacific Avenues. The crew’s purloined Klingon ship flies under the Golden Gate Bridge.

‘Golden Gate Park’, though, where the crew parks the ‘Bird of Prey’, is actually Will Rogers State Park, 14253 Sunset Boulevard, Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. The park is the former estate of humorist Will Rogers in the Santa Monica mountains.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: Vasquez Rocks, Agua Dulce, Southern California
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: the ‘Vulcan’ planet: Vasquez Rocks, Agua Dulce, Southern California

The 'Vulcan' planet scenes were filmed at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road, near Agua Dulce Springs. Named after 19th century outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez, who hid out here, the spectacular location – an outburst of the San Andreas fault where spurs of rock have been thrust out of the earth – has been used in hundreds of Westerns and sci-fi movies, pop videos and photoshoots, dating back (at least) to Werewolf of London in 1935. You can see the rocks in Alpha Dog, Apache, Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey, Blazing Saddles and The Flintstones among many others. Episodes of the Star Trek TV series had been filmed here and JJ Abrams 2009 reboot of Star Trek returns to the site.

The park is in the high desert north of Los Angeles, between Newhall and Acton, off Route 14.

The ‘Sausalito Cetacean Institute’, where the Enterprise crew finds the two humpback whales, was supposedly over the Bay, just north of San Francisco. You can actually find it on the coast about 120 miles south of the city, in Monterey. It's the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey. The aquarium, by the way, does not contain any whales, but does have loads of other fascinating stuff.