Where Was the Incredible Journey Filmed? Exploring A Dog’s Way Home’s On-Location Sets


A Dog’s Way Home is a 2019 American family adventure film directed by Charles Martin Smith. The film is based on the novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron and chronicles the journey of Bella, a dog who travels 400 miles to find her owner. Bella gets separated from her owner Lucas in Denver, Colorado and embarks on an epic journey to reunite with him.

Vancouver, Canada

The majority of A Dog’s Way Home was filmed in Vancouver and surrounding areas in Canada. According to Destination Vancouver, filming took place all over the city including downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, the University of British Columbia, and more.

filming scenes in stanley park

Other sources like IMDb and MovieMaps list specific filming locations in the Vancouver area such as 37th Avenue West, Marine Drive, Point Grey Road, West 4th Avenue, and more. The close proximity to mountains, forests, beaches and urban areas allowed the film crew to capture diverse backdrops for Bella’s 400-mile journey home.

Squamish, British Columbia

Many of the nature scenes in A Dog’s Way Home were filmed in the forests and rivers around Squamish, British Columbia. According to the IMDb filming locations page, over 10 scenes were shot in the Squamish area. The producers capitalized on the region’s beautiful scenery, including lush green forests, rocky cliffs, and rushing rivers. Bella the dog is seen frolicking through wooded areas around Squamish and swimming across a river during her long journey home.

bella swimming across a river

One recognizable Squamish area landmark is the Stawamus Chief, a prominent granite dome located just south of the town. During an early scene when Bella is still with her human family, there are shots showing the Chief in the background. The crew also filmed in other nearby outdoor areas like Alice Lake Provincial Park.

Cleveland, Ohio

Some key scenes in A Dog’s Way Home were filmed on location in Cleveland, Ohio. According to IMDb, the production filmed scenes at various spots around Cleveland, including downtown Cleveland’s East 9th Street. The city stands in for the movie’s fictional town of Denver, Colorado. Filming took place in the Flats East Bank area along the Cuyahoga River. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was also used for filming some scenes with the animal actors.

shooting scenes in downtown cleveland

Cincinnati, Ohio

The farm where Bella grows up as a puppy is located outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. According to IMDB’s filming locations page, scenes at the farm were shot near the small town of Morrow in Warren County, Ohio, which is about 30 miles north of Cincinnati. This included the covered bridge that Lucas walks across while carrying Bella as a puppy (IMDB). The rural farmland around Morrow provided the perfect backdrop for the scenes of Bella’s early life on the farm.

Additional scenes in the Cincinnati area were filmed at Mount Airy Forest, Cincinnati’s largest city park. The 1,459 acre park features hills, streams, thick forests, and rocky outcroppings that stood in for the Appalachian Trail where Lucas and Bella hike and camp (IMDB).

Los Angeles, California

While most of the on-location filming for A Dog’s Way Home was done in and around Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia, some studio shoots were done in Los Angeles, California. According to IMDb, scenes were filmed at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. The luxurious hotel, built in 1923, has appeared in many other movies and TV shows over the years. For A Dog’s Way Home, the hotel likely stood in for interior locations in cities like Denver and Cincinnati where Bella the dog travels during her 400-mile journey home.

Appalachian Trail

Parts of the Appalachian Trail were filmed in North Carolina for A Dog’s Way Home.[https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7616798/locations/] The Appalachian Trail is a famous hiking trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine for over 2,100 miles. For the film, scenes were shot along sections of the trail winding through the Pisgah National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina. Filming took place along the trails near Hot Springs and Max Patch, capturing the beautiful wooded mountains and lush green scenery of the area. The Appalachian Trail provided the perfect backdrops for Bella the dog’s long journey back home.

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge provided a scenic backdrop for several pivotal scenes in A Dog’s Way Home. According to IMDb, the filmmakers utilized the rugged wilderness of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to depict Bella’s long journey back home.

columbia river gorge backdrop

In one memorable scene, Bella treks along the rocky cliffs overlooking the powerful Columbia River. The striking vistas showcase the incredible natural beauty of the region. Filming took place at locations like Eagle Creek and Multnomah Falls, where towering waterfalls plunge into the river gorge.

The dangerous terrain that Bella must navigate illustrates the harrowing ordeal she endures to reunite with her owner. Dramatic shots of Bella traversing steep ledges and winding trails capture the precarious nature of her solo expedition through the remote gorge.

Overall, the Columbia River Gorge functions as a majestic cinematic backdrop that heightens the drama and adventure of Bella’s against-all-odds quest across the western United States. The sweeping canyon views underscore the daunting scope and epic feel of her incredible journey back home.

Other Locations

In addition to the major filming locations in Vancouver, Squamish, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and along the Appalachian Trail and Columbia River Gorge, A Dog’s Way Home had some minor filming in other areas. According to IMDb, there were a few scenes filmed in Los Angeles, California. The movie also includes stock footage and scenery from other locations to represent Bella’s long journey home.


A Dog’s Way Home featured a variety of beautiful filming locations to depict Bella’s 400-mile journey home. Some of the main filming sites included Vancouver and Squamish in British Columbia, which stood in for Denver and the Colorado wilderness where Bella gets lost. Parts of the film were also shot in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. Additional filming took place in Los Angeles and along the Appalachian Trail on the east coast. The Columbia River Gorge on the Oregon-Washington border was used for scenes of Bella traveling home. Ultimately, the diversity of landscapes and terrains was essential in bringing Bella’s epic and emotional adventure to life on screen.

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