The Independence Day holiday is one of the most outdoorsy holidays of the year. Next to Memorial Day and Labor Day, tons of Americans spend their 4th of July weekends in the great outdoors. For Montanans, its all about hitting up the lake or river. Judging by the amount of boat trailers at all the local fishing access locations this past weekend. It is safe to say that there was plenty of fun to be had on our area rivers. It almost looked like they needed to put traffic lights up on the water, just to control the flow.

Two Montana rivers were made famous back in 1994, when they became the filming locations for the blockbuster thriller "The River Wild."

According to Wikipedia

In June 1993, Universal Studios began considering locations along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and the Kootenai River in Montana. They also began to seek permits from the forest service and permission from private landowners to film near the falls and nearby West Glacier. 

Principal photography began on August 4, 1993. Many of the film's whitewater scenes were filmed on the Kootenai River.

For those who remember the synopsis of the movie. Meryl Streep is a former river guide on vacation with her family. They meet up with other whitewater rafters while on their trip. Kevin Bacon and John C Riley happen to be armed robbers that are using the river as their escape vehicle. Kevin Bacon holds the family hostage and forces Meryl Streep at gunpoint to get them down the river safely.

Kevin Bacon recently shared a photo from the movie, as a safety reminder for outdoor enthusiast on Independence Day.

8 Movies That Filmed in Montana

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.


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