My sister and I finally took a hike up to the Hilltop Inn! It was incredible.
The Inn, which opened on Thanksgiving Day 1948, is a landmark in the community and a prominent figure in the history of Apple Valley.
In 1954, screen writer and producer Roger Corman set part of his movie “Highway Dragnet” at the inn with extensive shots of the lobby, pool and exterior scenes.
In 1965, movie stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and their family became residents of Apple Valley. Roy Rogers leased the Inn and restaurant, which was then renamed Roy Rogers’ Apple Valley Inn. The Outdoor Steak Fry and the Roy Rogers’ Riding Stables, with its haywagon rides and horseback riding, were two popular enterprises attached to the Inn. Mel Marion and then Billy Bascom managed the stables. Cowboy artist Earl Bascom and his artist son John worked there from time to time. Roy Roger’s personal horse, Trigger Junior, was frequently boarded at the riding stables.
The Inn was a popular vacation destination for Hollywood celebrities during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Frequent visitors included notable icons Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Richard Nixon in its heyday. Entertainment for guests included performers such as cowgirl celebrity and famous trick roper, Texas Rose Bascom.
After many successful years, the Inn closed to the public in 1987.