Is Yellowstone Dutton Ranch Real

Is Yellowstone Dutton Ranch Real

Hailing from the minds of Taylor Sheridan and John Lison is Yellowstone but is the Dutton ranch real? It’s the most-watched cable series on TV, but in a way, it has given the western genre a new lease on life.

Yellowstone is a juggernaut, from tackling issues affecting ranchers in the United States to introducing us to the steamy Beth-Rip romance. 

The show has received praise for its beautiful scenery and interesting characters. With that, it has become a hit with fans all over.

The Duttons are a close-knit family, working for and on the ranch for generations and going to the earth’s ends to protect it.

However, the modern world is encroaching on their way of life, and they must grapple with how to keep the ranch running while also dealing with new challenges.

Not only is Yellowstone a binge-worthy cowboy saga, but it provides a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, even if for a 30-minute episode.

It provides a fascinating look at ranching in America. If you’re interested in the cowboy lifestyle, read about everything about Yellowstone.

What is the Yellowstone TV Show About?

Yellowstone is a new drama series that first premiered on the Paramount Network in 2018.

It follows the Dutton family, a wealthy and influential family that owns Montana’s largest contiguous cattle ranch. 

The patriarch of the family is John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner. He is a challenging and ruthless businessman who will do whatever it takes to protect his business and family.

He was married to Evelyn Dutton, played by Gretchen Mol; however, she died when the kids were young in a horse-riding accident. 

Together they had three children: Beth, lee, and Kayce and later adopted Jamie.

Beth is the strong, intelligent, independent, business savvy daughter who doesn’t take sh*it from anyone. Jamie is the brains and legal counsel of the ranch. Kayce is the down draught marine who is unsure where he stands in the family business.

This family has no shortage of enemies, from the money-hungry condo developers who want a piece of Yellowstone to meth addicts.

A colorful cast of characters surrounds the Dutton family. Rip Wheeler, the ranch foreman, played by Cole Hauser, is loyal to John Dutton and willing to do whatever it takes to help the family.

Jamie’s wife, Christina, played by Katherine Cunningham, is a strong and independent woman. And finally, there’s Monica Dutton, played by Kelsey Asbille, a professor and Kaycee’s wife. 

Dutton Ranch Real-Life Counterparts

Although John Dutton and the Yellowstone is fictional, there are a couple of people who would give John a run for his money. 

Legendary Texas rancher W.T Waggoner and his family owned one of the real-life largest cattle ranches in the united states.

Similar to John, Waggoner successfully kept the land in his family; however, in 2015, they sold it to Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams, for an estimated $725 million.

Another ranching legend who might have inspired Sheridans’ John was Montana ranch kingpin, Bill Galt.

Not only was he known to fly around in a helicopter to meet with other big shots, but his family owned the third largest plot of land in Montana in Sulfur Springs. {248,023 acres }

Yellowstone Filming is on a Real-Life Ranch 

The Montana landscape has picturesque mountains, rivers, and trees that seem to come to life even when the sun isn’t shining might have you wondering if it’s Hollywood magic. However, all you see and smell is an actual treasure state. 

When it comes to authenticity, Taylor does it best. From working with actual cowboys to taking out the main cast to a cowboy training camp, his need to showcase what a cowboys’ life looks like shines through.

The setting for the show, which started as a film set in Utah studios, quickly changed to the log cabin at Chief Joseph Ranch.

They will shoot an idyllic backdrop for most of season 4 and the upcoming seasons.

The Chief Joseph Ranch is located in Bitterroot valley, Darby, Montana, and is a real-life working cattle ranch and family home that has been in operation for over 100 years.

The ranch was a habitat for the Salish tribe. However, it turned into a refuge for a fleeing Chief Joseph and his people in the 1870s.

In 1914 Howard Hollister, a federal judge, and William Ford, a glassmaker, bought the ranch commissioned an architectural firm, Bates and Gamble, to build a summerhouse for the latter and his family.

He intended to make it into an apple orchard but forgo the idea after bad harvests, turning it into a cattle ranch.

After The ranch changed ownership in 1950, it was renamed the chief joseph ranch after the Great Chief rather than Ford and Hollister Ranch.

How Big is Yellowstone Ranch? 

How big the ranch is a question we ask ourselves after every episode ends, seeing as the camera pans out as far as the eye can see.

Suppose we consider the size of the largest real-life ranch, its 775,000 acres. Chief Rainwater equates the Yellowstone to Rhode Island, the Yellowstone sizes between 775,000 acres and 825,000 acres. 

What Parts Of The Ranch Did They Use

The parts of the ranch that filming was done include,

  • The yard
  • Front and back porch
  • Kitchen
  • Lodge
  • Helipad

And the main house.

Other extra locations include the bunkhouse, barns, the woods, round pen, cabins, entrance, armory, corrals, and houses.

You can also see some parts of the famous Bitterroot River in some scenes.

What activities are available at Chief Joseph Ranch?

The ranch is a working cattle ranch, and it’s also a popular tourist destination.

They have an array of different activities for their guests.

  • Fishing, whether its winter or summer, the waters down at Bitterroot River are perfect. They will guide you to the best fishing spots. 
  • Horseback riding, engage all your senses, and train like one of the ranchhands from the bunkhouse.
  • Downhill skiing, chief Joesph ranch provides the perfect backdrop, the Rocky mountains for avid skiers looking to get that fresh Montana snow.
  • Other activities include mountain biking, white water rafting, and canoeing.

Who Owns the Real Yellowstone Ranch

It is possible for fans of the show to wonder whether Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan or acclimated actor Kevin Costner might be the ranch owners.

However, After the ranchs’ long and varied history, the 2500 acre ranch came under the ownership of Shane and Angela Libel.

The Libel family did a lot of restoration on the log house. However, they kept some of the original woodworks, the pinewood paneling, in the great room.

 You can even stay in one of the original log cabins on the property.

So, if you ever find yourself in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, be sure to check out the Chief Joseph Ranch – it’s a little piece of history that you can experience for yourself.

Why Chief Joseph Ranch?

After the abrupt change of location, thanks to better tax incentives in montana{10 million dollars to be exact} season four started filming.

Taylor Sheridan and lead production designer Ruth de jong led the charge and went out looking. Not only was Chief Joseph perfect, but when the cast and crew all got there, they all agreed it was it.

Live Like a Dutton at the Real Yellowstone Ranch

As a super fan of the Yellowstone TV Show series, if you’ve ever wanted to live Like a Dutton at the Real Yellowstone Ranch, now you can!

Part of the property is available to rent.

The ranch offers two main cabins available for rent: the Ben Cook cabins (Rip and Kayce’s house) and Fisherman’s, lees’, in seasons 1 and 2. Each place can fit eight guests with a full kitchen, a grill, and a washer and dryer.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable Montana vacation experience, check out the Chief Joseph Ranch!

How much does it cost?

For a night’s stay in Lee’s cabin, you will have to part with $1200 for a night’s stay and an extra $50 per night with each additional guest.

In Rip’s cabin, the rate is $1500 per night and $50 per night per additional guest.

In addition, with each reservation, a complimentary tour of the ranch and set is included.


The Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is a real place, and its a great place to visit. The ranch has plenty of activities for visitors, including horseback riding, fishing, and hiking. The farm also offers comfortable lodging and delicious food that you can either grill yourself or have delivered from the food market. 

Thus, I highly recommend visiting the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch if you are ever in the area. You will not regret it. Thanks for reading!