Where is the beginning of "The Shining" filmed?

Hi all,

In the beginning of the film “The Shining,” the Torrances are driving on a two-lane highway through some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen on their way to the Overlook. Does anyone know which highway this is, and where it is located?

Also, what is the name of the hotel used as the Overlook in the film? Is it still open?


Sorry I can’t be more specific, having a bit of a memory problem. What I can tell you is that the original Shinning ([G\KW]Doo ya want to git a lawsuit?![/GKW]) hotel is in Colorado. It is on the road that leads up to… to… Estes Park? Some large mountain an hour or so outside of Denver. Again, my apologies for not remembering it very well. I was up there for a friend’s wedding, and, well, alcoholed away many brain cells in a short amount of time. Anyway, the hotel is very, very beautiful (we stopped in to see it, and were treated to a magnificent thunder and lightning storm off in the distance) still open, and quite proud of their Steven King notoriety. All over the lobby and in their ‘museum’ they have pictures of King and scenes from the movie (though mostly from the made for TV version that came out a few years later.).

That’s about all I can remember. 'Cept the music at the beginning is the (not spelled correctly here) Dires Eire, a medieval funerary mass, adopted by Berlioz (sp? Again?) for his Symphony Fantastique. I know you didn’t ask, but the Shinning told me to tell you…

The book was set in Colorado, it’s true, but the movie set was Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon


Ahhh… the power of google.com!

From this page:

Yea, that reminds me that the propaganda in the hotel seemed to indicate that King was pissed at the cinema version. So the location of the Stanley Hotel may have absolutely nothing to do with the OP. Sorry.

The Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park, CO. It’s about a 2 hour drive north of Denver.

Local lore says the exterior shots in the Shining are indeed the Stanley, but they didn’t use it for the interior.

Thanks for all the answers.

Looks like the Stanley (www.stanleyhotel.com) is where King wrote the book (beautiful hotel, btw) and the Timberline Lodge (www.timberlinelodge.com) in Oregon was used for the exteriors.

I’m planning a vacation out west next year, and I thought it would be funky to stay at the “Overlook.” Expensive, though.

Any answers yet on which highway that is at the beginning? It’s gorgeous, with mountains, rivers, and forests.


The opening was filmed on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana.

A story I heard was that Kubrick sent a film crew there to film the opening the crew reported back that there was nothing of interest there to film. Kubrick fired the crew and sent a new group out there to do the filming; he later said it was some of the best aerial photography he’d ever seen.

You may notice some similarities between the beginning of The Shining and the “happy ending” version of Blade Runner.

Blade Runner’s non-Director’s Cut ending uses The Shining’s aerial outtakes.

I have not actually been to the Stanley, Overlook, whatever, but I have had friends who have stayed there and they were not very impressed. Their only complaint was that it was the beds, fixtures, and everything else had not been replaced for a very long time and they were REALLY showing their age. Aside from that they said it was really cool.

Personally I like going up there in the winter and rent a cabin for the night, there are about 10,000 up there available for rent! The prices are significantly cheaper in the winter because the road over the top of Rocky Mountain NP (highest paved road in US, tops out at over 12,000’)is closed and there are no nearby ski areas. In the summer you can expect large crowds, no vacancy’s, and high prices.

One thing I would like to add is unlike the book, movie, etc… The Stanley is NOT in a wilderness and is easy to reach all year long. Also the mountains are spectacular, but not nearly as dramatic and big as the ones in the intro to the movie.

and the opening shots of ‘Brazil’ were composed of extra footage from “Neverending Story”.


Just FTR, the TV-movie version from about 3 or 4 years ago WAS filmed at the Stanley in beautiful Estes Park.
As Palandine said, the Stanley is where Stephen King stayed and was inspired to write the book, but the Kubrick version was filmed elsewhere.