Where Did They Film The Last of Us? All Locations Explained

"Jury's still out, but man, can't deny that view." - Ellie

by Abhirup Sengupta
Image: HBO/Warner Bros. Discovery

Unlike most HBO shows, The Last Of Us had the pressure of being set in a dystopia with the addition of zombies. The timeline of the series, combined with the striking locations from the original games, meant that fans of TLOU would be more keen-eyed to spot any familiar places.

While both the game and the show are set in the United States, the show has been primarily shot in Canada. However, per the credits, certain parts of the production also took place in New Zealand.

HBO’s The Last Of Us – Filming Locations

According to the credit roll of the show, The Last Of Us production was primarily set in the city of Alberta, Canada and especially in Calgary. The city, nicknamed Cowtown, portrayed locations like Boston, where the Quarantine Zone (QZ) is located in the game. The scenes set in Kansas City and Jakarta were also said to have been shot in Calgary, as per Calgary Herald.

The local publication further mentioned that the production shot certain scenes in other Canadian cities like Edmonton and Lethbridge. Meanwhile, certain Canadian towns, like High River, Okotoks, and others, portrayed other locations in the series. 

Joel’s House And Hometown

As per some set pictures of the shooting location, the town of High River and Okotoks were likely used to portray Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, the Fort Macleod Gazette claimed that the first episode contained scenes shot in the town. The scenes in the first episode where Joel, Sarah, and Tommy attempted to escape from Texas were likely to have been shot in Fort Macleod. 

Quarantine Zone And Beyond

As mentioned before, the QZ is set in Boston in both the games and the show. However, downtown Edmonton served as the filming set for the scenes in QZ. Per CTV, the Alberta Legislature Building was featured heavily in the first and second episodes of the show. Furthermore, most of the QZ set was constructed around Stampede Park in Calgary.

As the second episode of the show explored Joel, Ellie and Ness in their journey outside the QZ, the group came by a flyover in the dystopian Boston or Pittsburgh area. This scene was likely shot on the 4th Avenue Flyover Bridge in Alberta.

The Hotel Grand

The Last Of Us Episode 2 showcased the iconic Hotel Grand from the game. In the game, the hotel is situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, it appeared that the scenes in the series were based on some other location as they took place quite earlier in the group’s journey as compared to the game. The real building which served as the stand-in for The Hotel Grand may have been shot in Downtown Edmonton as well. 

Bostonian Museum

In Episode 2, Ellie, Joel, and Ness had to face multiple clickers in the museum, through which they proceeded to reach the Firefly outpost at the Massachusetts State House. This is where both Ellie and Ness get bitten by the infected. While such a museum did exist in the game, it was known as the Freedom Museum of Boston.

According to Atlas Of Wonder, a building on Calgary’s Southwest Street served as the exterior of the Bostonian Museum.

Massachusetts State House (Firefly Outpost)

In both the game and The Last Of Us series’ Episode 2, the group had the objective to rendezvous with the Fireflies at the Massachusetts State House. This show’s take on this iconic location from the game was actually filmed in Edmonton’s Alberta Legislature Building.

Jackson, Wyoming

The following episodes will contain scenes based in Jackson, Wyoming, where Joel and Ellie are finally expected to meet Tommy. As per The Last Of Us Part I, the duo met Joel’s brother in Jackson and helped the community restore a hydroelectric dam. If the series follows the events of the game diligently, then the group is also expected to go against some bandits during their time there.

According to the Twitter fan page, The Last Of Us News, the town of Canmore, Alberta, will portray Jackson, Wyoming. The famed Engine Bridge of the Canadian town made an appearance in the official trailer, which further confirms the claims. Additionally, the production is expected to have been filmed in towns like Okotoks and Waterton to represent scenes in Jackson.

An Instagram Post by a Last Of Us fan account claimed that scenes in Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) house in Jackson, Wyoming, were shot at a property in the town of Okotoks. If true, then this house will likely make an appearance in future seasons, as the residence was featured in TLOU Part II.

University of Eastern Colorado

In TLOU Part I, this is where Joel and Ellie have to face the cannibals. As per a legion of Instagram posts by students, the campuses of Mount Royal University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) were used to represent the fictional Colorado university.

Colorado Mountain Plaza (Possibly)

This location from The Last of Us: Left Behind expansion pack focused on Ellie as she left an injured Joel behind to search for medical supplies. In the game, the Colorado Mountain Plaza is situated near the University of Eastern Colorado. Thus Ellie had another run-in with the cannibals. However, the HBO series may depict the mall as being in another real-life location. As per the leaked set photos, the mall scenes were filmed at the Northland Mall in Calgary.

However, a few locations from both the game and the series and their filming spots are yet to be confirmed. These include iconic locations from TLOU Part I like ‘Bill’s Town’ in Lincoln, Massachusetts, ‘Lakeside Resort’ in Silver Lake, Colorado, amongst others. While some locations from the game were conveniently changed in the first two episodes, it is yet to be seen if more such changes are made.

- This article was updated on January 26th, 2023