The Laramee Filter: pseudorandom thoughts, subsequently put on the Internet.
Tom Laramee
Date Published:
March 14th, 2024
Word Count:
545 (4:00 read time)

The Cascade Mountains Are Featured In the Movie Top Gun: Maverick

Fun fact: in the movie "Top Gun: Maverick", the main flying scenes (aka: the mission) were filmed here in WA State in the Cascade Mountains.

I saw a commment on a hiking forum that mentioned one of the mountains was Hibox, and so I started looking at the stills from the video and was wondering if it was possible to identify that particular mountain from the movie, so I started looking for clues.

Here are three video stillsi from that short video clip I linked to:


Judging from that tiny clip above (1:48..1:56), those planes are flying from the north and heading S/SE (the lake is Kachess Lake), as indicated on the map directly below.

(Note: All images are clickable for a larger version)

The Planes Are Definitely Heading In a North to South Direction.

Here are three clues that should help:

  1. There's nothing to the south of Hibox peak. It's a massive river valley (from Rachael Lake) called "Box Canyon" (and I think you can observe this if you watch the short clips a few times).
  2. Another clue is the location of Katchess lake, which is argubably the most helpful clue.
  3. And the last one is a rockline formation that I understand to be called "Three Queens". I summitted Hibox in 2023 and took some photos of rocky ridge. Directly below is a photo of what it looks like from the summit.
"Three Queens", From the Summit of Hibox

And if you look at this topo map, you can see the direction I'm looking in when I took that photo, along with the peak and the ridgeline. It's about a 30 degree angle, N/NE.

(Incidentally, that map also shows (1) to the NE of Hibox is the Mineral Creek river valley (which is massive) and (2) directly to the south of Hibox is Box Canyon, which is also massive.)

It Would Help To Turn This Photo Upside Down

And here's what Katchess looks like from the peak:

Needless To Say: the Views From the Summit of Hibox Are Stunning

And here's a topo map of Katchess. The only part you can see is the constricted part that's S/SE (and follows a river valley). The other lakes (Keechelus and Cle Elum are both blocked by mountains, as is most of Katchess).

Three Lakes: Only One of Them Visible

And last but not least, from the summit, if you look north, there's a huge drop-off into a river valley below (Mineral Creek), which looks like so:

The Mineral Creek River Valley (and Stunning Mountain Views)

So putting it together, and yes, this is a total guess, here's Hibox from the video still:

Put It All Together [and We Can Drive It home, With One Headlight]

Another fun fact: Hibox has no switchbacks .. it's a hike essentially straight up the south side of the mountain, and the elevation gain is 3,754' over 3.55m (it's 7.1m round trip). That is a very steep hike right there and it took me 5 hours round-trip (which is long for only 7.1m).

7.1 miles
4h 59m 35s