Hmm...the only place with mountains like that, that is that barren and with smog, would be So. Cal. But for having lived there 23 years, I can't place the exact location. It could be Anza Borrego Desert, Somewhere out past Palm Springs, or even Death Valley. But none of them fit quite perfectly.
My best hunch: somewhere in the San Jacinto foothills looking NE?
My only other guesses, based on the large dry lakebed, would be somewhere near Las Vegas, the Owen's Valley, or even Reno/Carson City.
Was I only supposed to pick one location? =)