Robert Redford’s Sundance Scenes
It was certainly Robert Redford’s stellar acting chops that captivated audiences over the last several decades — but the jaw-dropping Utah landscapes in some of his most famous films helped set the scene for that magic. Journey through some of the most striking mountain and desert filming locations to experience the awe of that all-American frontier immortalized in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Jeremiah Johnson," and "The Electric Horseman."
During the golden era of Western films, Robert Redford made his leap to true stardom with his masterful portrayal of the Sundance Kid, an original American outlaw, in 1969's “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Utah’s wild Western landscapes had already caught Redford’s heart and imagination — in fact, he purchased land in Provo Canyon in the early-1960s. (Devoted to Utah’s open lands, towering mountains and intricate red rock deserts, Redford convinced the director of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to film in Utah.)
In the years that followed, Redford’s land in Provo Canyon eventually became Sundance Mountain Resort — a ski and summer resort built around an appreciation for nature. Soon, seeking a place where independent filmmakers could gather, collaborate and be inspired, he founded Sundance Institute. Later, the institute would take over what would eventually become the Sundance Film Festival, based today in the larger mountain town of Park City.
These days, the Sundance Film Festival draws crowds and fanfare from around the globe. And the festival is indeed a film buff’s dream. But if you want to get to the heart of what Utah film, Sundance Institute and Redford himself are all about, you’ll want to journey into the real heart of the outlaw West. Lay your own eyes on the soaring walls of Zion Canyon. Wander the twists and turns of Snow Canyon. Feel the wind blowing through a real ghost town. Set foot in Jeremiah Johnson’s wilderness cabin. Then you’ll get a taste of the adventure and wanderlust that inspired Redford the man and the characters he played.