Where Is ‘Yellowstone’ Filmed? Everything to Know About the Dutton Ranch

Following its debut in 2018, Yellowstone took the world by storm and became the most popular show on television. Not only did it launch a successful franchise, but the neo-Western series also made ratings history, thanks to its stellar cast, compelling plot and gorgeous backdrop.

Throughout the series, countless fans followed the Dutton family as they fought to protect their Montana ranch—a piece of land that's been owned by the Duttons for seven generations. And with the second half of the show's fifth (and final) season premiering in November 2024, we'll get to reunite with the powerful family and see what becomes of their coveted property. But for now, we're curious to know: Where is Yellowstone filmed? Do those sprawling fields and picturesque mountains look the same in real life? And more importantly, is the Dutton Ranch real?

We did some digging and learned quite a bit about the show's filming locations—including the fact that it inspired Yellowstone star Luke Grimes (who plays Kayce Dutton) to move to Montana. He told Cowboys & Indians Magazine, "I'm less than an hour from the ranch we shoot on and just as close to Missoula, where some of our sound stages are. That kind of drive here is a pleasure. First season, I never would've thought I would've ended up living here, but man, I'm in heaven."

Keep reading for all the details on the shooting locations for the Paramount Network series.

1. Where is Yellowstone filmed?

Paramount Network

Get this: The first three seasons of Yellowstone were not filmed in Montana. According to Deseret News, about 75 percent of these scenes were filmed in the state of Utah. The scenery was also filmed in multiple locations, including Heber City, Oakley, Kamas, Grantsville and Logan.

In 2021, Marshall Moore (vice president of operations at Utah Film Studios) told Deseret, "[Yellowstone] was the largest show that has ever come to the state of Utah."

However, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed a shift in the scenery in season four. This is because production moved exclusively to Montana. Although there were shoots in different Montana cities, Helena—the state's capital—became a prominent filming location for seasons four and five.

2. Why Did Yellowstone Move Filming to Montana?

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the show's production location was changed due to Utah’s limited tax incentive program. In 2020, Moore explained to the outlet, “We’ve been hearing that they were canceling all their vendors here in Utah and pulling up stakes and moving completely to Montana. It turned out to be true, but they don’t want to leave. They feel like they’re forced to because of Montana’s shiny new $10 million incentive that they just passed last year. That and the fact that our film commission and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can’t offer them anything at the moment.”

Several scenes were shot in spaces that are open to the public. For instance, the interior of Beth’s office was shot at the State Capitol Building in Helena, Montana.

3. Is the Dutton Ranch Real?

Paramount Network

It sure is. The Dutton family's home is actually located at Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, which features a 6,000-square-foot lodge. Per the official website, it was formerly known as the Ford-Hollister Ranch, and the mansion was originally designed by Bates & Gamble. A family currently resides and works at the cattle ranch. And yes, it's just as gorgeous in real life.

As for how their ranch was selected for Yellowstone, the owners said on their website, "It was a cold call. We did not have the ranch listed as a film location. We are humbled and honored that Paramount chose our ranch as the setting of this amazing series."

Several locations are used for filming at Chief Joseph Ranch, including the lodge great room, kitchen, back porch, front porch, helipad and yard. Rip, Lee and Trapper's cabins are also located on the property.

4. Can Fans Stay at the Real Dutton Ranch?

Paramount Network

Fortunately for Yellowstone enthusiasts, you can spend a few nights at the infamous ranch. Per the official website, guests can stay for a minimum of three nights in one of the cabins at Chief Joseph Ranch, as long as the show isn’t filming.

Options include Lee Dutton's Cabin, which can accommodate up to four guests and costs $1,400 per night, and Rip's Cabin, which holds up to eight people for $1,700 per night. Each additional guest costs an extra $50, and all reservations include a tour of the ranch.

5. Was Yellowstone Filmed Anywhere Else?

In addition to Utah and Montana, the Yellowstone cast and crew also paid a surprise visit to Texas in season four. They shot a scene at a local cafe called Mary's Brazos Cafe in Parker County, and the owner, Mary Anderson, couldn't be more thrilled.

She told Outsider, "I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. The street on the other side [of the cafe] was lined up with my customers watching and trying to see what was going on. It was awesome."

Anderson also shared behind-the-scenes photos on Facebook and wrote, "Sooo...This happened today. Yellowstone was at the cafe for a scene shoot. They were a very hard-working and very sweet crew."

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