Men in Trees is set in the fictional town of Elmo, Alaska, which I’ve always assumed is intended to represent the real town of Juneau. The TV series is actually filmed in Squamish, British Columbia, which is a lot easier to get to. The best part is that Squamish, which is about half the size of Juneau, has a similar geographic setting and a slightly milder winter climate.
The Chieftan Hotel in Squamish is a real place. They use an exterior shot on the show, but I'm certain that the interior shots are filmed in a studio. The Chieftan is named for The Chief—that looming granite cliff that often appears in the show. In fact, the geology around Squamish is primarily volcanic, and the same is true for Juneau.
For a TV film crew, Squamish is much more accessible than Juneau, and both towns have a similar climate, geography and vegetation, so filming Men in Trees in Squamish really does make a lot of sense.
What does intrigue me, though, is why one of the show’s film editors keeps sneaking in a shot of Peyto Lake. I’ve seen this in two episodes for sure, maybe three. The last time it was used was in “Charity Case.” It was slipped in between the movie night scene and Marin’s visit to Cash’s campsite the following day.
Why am I intrigued? Peyto Lake is in the Canadian Rockies, hundreds of miles from Squamish, just off the Banff-Jasper Parkway. The surrounding mountains all consist of sedimentary rocks, which is why you can see all those lovely layers in them. To the well-trained eye of yours truly—who happens to be a science geek as well as a romance author—the contrasting geology sticks out like a sore thumb.
Still, the Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful places in the world, so it doesn’t surprise me that someone affiliated with show would slip in a shot of those majestic mountains and a pristine glacial lake. But I do wonder if anyone else is paying attention!