Hell's Half Acre

Great American Rail-Trail

Arts, Entertainment & Sports Native American History Nature & Environmental Management

Hell’s Half Acre, known for its jagged landscape and its role in Native American buffalo hunting, was featured as the fictional planet of “Klendathu” in the movie Starship Trooper. It’s also along the Pony Express trails used through Wyoming in the 19th century.

For those of us who aren’t NASA astronauts, film and TV shows shape how we imagine what other planets look like. But the likes of the Star Wars franchise and other space-related sagas do not go into the stratosphere to get their footage—they go to otherworldly locations like Hell’s Half Acre.

Comprising sandstone and shale, Hell’s Half Acre, located approximately 44 miles north of Casper, Wyoming, is actually a bit bigger than its name lets on—319.5 acres bigger to be exact. [1] The canyon has several historical footprints in its depths. Travelers on the Oregon and Mormon trails and members of the Pony Express crossed it on their routes in the 19th century. [2] It was also used as a way to trap bison by Native Americans, who shot at them with bows and arrows from above the canyon’s depths.

More recently, the canyon has been featured as the fictional planet of Klendathu in the 1997 movie “Starship Troopers.”



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