The Last of Us: This is where the popular series was shot
It's actually possible to take a journey into the post-apocalyptic world of the hit TV series The Last of Us, and experience steep mountains, lush national parks, and turquoise lakes. Join us as we head to Canada.
After the pandemic, a new travel trend has emerged, called "set jetting". Having spent a lot of time in front of our TV screen in recent years, it has now become popular to travel to the locations where our favourite series were shot.
More and more people are visiting the Italian island of Sicily after watching The White Lotus, and New York is a popular destination in which to walk in the footsteps of the Roy family in Succession.
A somewhat less sunny and glamorous series, however, is The Last of Us, which has taken the world by storm since its premiere (IMDb 9.2). You may wonder, though: is it even possible to head to the places invaded by fungus-infested, carnivorous zombies? Yes, it is! Although both the video game and the series show a journey through a post-apocalyptic United States, in real life, you have to go to Canada to see the locations.
What is The Last of Us about?
Before we embark on our trek, we need to mention the plot. Most people know The Last of Us as a 2013 video game from Naughty Dog. The game has been made into the HBO Max series starring famous actors Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Bella Ramsey (Ellie).
The story starts with the U.S. population suddenly being hit by an outbreak of a mutating fungus. Its human hosts are transformed into zombies that attack each other, and those who are bitten become infected. Within a few episodes, the action moves to a post-apocalyptic future in which the entire United States is virtually wiped out in the fight to prevent the fungal infection from spreading.
The only healthy people that are left are those who have survived in strictly controlled urban communities, and in so-called quarantine zones. Joel and Ellie meet in what was once Boston. Working together to survive, the duo travels through the United States to find a potential cure.
The Last of Us is shot in Alberta
It is on Joel and Ellies long journey that viewers get to see much of the green, desolate, and beautiful landscape of Alberta, where much of the series was filmed.
Alberta is the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces and is located in the southwest of the country. The province consists of a lot of open prairies and coniferous forests. Here, you will also find the Rocky Mountains with several peaks over three thousand metres high.
The Rocky Mountains are a popular holiday destination and is often visited by road or rail. The Rocky Mountaineer is a famous luxury train that lets you relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery. If you are lucky, you can spot wild animals such as bears, moose, and mountain goats on the journey.
If you want to do something a little out of the ordinary, the impressive mountains and lakes in the Rockies can be experienced on horseback – several operators arrange guided tours.
Another famous destination in Alberta is Red Rock Canyon, which is known for its colourful red and green layers of rock. There are also excellent hikes in the area. If you want to ski, the Lake Louise Ski Resort is the place to go. You also won't want to miss Banff National Park with its beautiful turquoise lake.
Ellie and Joe hiking in Calgary
Banff is about an hour and a half by car from Calgary, which was the location for much of episode one of The Last of Us. Calgary is famous for its winter sports and ecotourism. The city hosts the scenes before the pandemic broke out, and the scenes where the motorways are crowded in foliage were also shot there.
Calgary was also the location used for the interior and exterior of Sarah Miller's school, as well as the Boston quarantine zone.
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is the setting that is used to depict Boston in the series. The Alberta Legislature Building is a stand-in for Boston's town hall. Canmore lies to the west of Calgary. The city was the location for the scenes that are set in Jackson, Wyoming, in the USA.
The snow-capped mountains of Waterton Lakes National Park are the destination used for the hike in Colorado. Other locations for key scenes in Ellie and Joe's story include Mount Royal University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Alberta is a wonderful destination for those who like magnificent nature. A visit there also offers a chance to walk around the spots where bloodthirsty zombies and car wrecks were seen in The Last of Us — squint and you can imagine that you too are part of the action!
The series is streaming on HBO Max and the first season consists of nine binge-worthy episodes.
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