Audiences can't get enough of Top Gun: Maverick. As if being the number-one movie of the summer wasn't enough, the high-flying blockbuster is set to buzz back into theaters on December 2nd.

Australian Defence Force Troops Test Super Hornet Aircraft Capabilities During Exercise Nigrum Pugio
Getty Images
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I had several reasons to be excited for the release of Tom Cruise's big legacyquel, with the primary reason being my love for its predecessor. Since I was five, Top Gun has been my favorite movie full stop. I'm 30 now. So, yeah Top Gun: Maverick was a big deal for me. Another reason for my immense excitement for this movie was the fact that Washington was used as a location for filming.

Lake Kachess was a filming location for Top Gun: Maverick's climactic final battle.

When the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick dropped, I was immediately looking for evidence of Washington. It didn't take long to find Kachess Lake, a popular camping spot and apparently the perfect place for filming Super Hornets in action.

Oleg Doukhnevitch on YouTube
Oleg Doukhnevitch on YouTube
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Did these Washington campers encounter an F-18 filming for Top Gun: Maverick?

Oleg Doukhnevitch is a realtor in the Seattle area and uploaded a video to YouTube back in 2020 of a camping trip at Washington's Kachess Lake. It's a quick two-minute video with some snappy editing and nice music. Of course, there are beautiful western Washington views and sights to behold throughout but one little thing caught my attention.

Oleg Doukhnevitch on YouTube
Oleg Doukhnevitch on YouTube
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Look to the middle right of this photo. It is very clearly an F-18 Super Hornet, the same type of aircraft predominantly used in Top Gun: Maverick. Oleg says the video is from a camping trip in July of 2020, but filming had ended a year earlier. If you remember, the film had several release dates set in 2020 that were pushed back until its eventual release in May of 2022.

Do fighter jets fly over Kachess Lake?

Yes, in fact. It is not uncommon to see fighter jets training around the Cascade Mountains and Kachess Lake gets its fair share of flyby visitors.

Can you camp at Kachess Lake?

Yes! Kachess Lake is such a popular camping destination that you may have to plan ahead and book six months out or more, according to Oleg Doukhnevitch, who shot the video. Mr. Doukhnevitch said in comments that he camped on the island itself and it was amazing.

Oleg Doukhnevitch
Oleg Doukhnevitch
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Looks like I'll be planning a trip six months out.

You Gotta Watch These Classic Movies Filmed in Washington Before You Die

You're probably here because you're a movie fan. You probably also live in Washington. You're probably here because I told you there were some amazing movies filmed in Washington. Movies with actors such as Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, and the late great Heath Ledger. If you haven't seen every movie on this list, you need to get a move on. These are the best films that were shot in the beautiful state of Washington.

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