If you’re a “Yellowstone” fan, you’re familiar with the fictional Dutton Ranch that’s considered in the series to be the largest working ranch in the country. But did you know that the scenic setting in the neo-Western drama is actually the 2,500-acre Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana? When Paramount isn’t filming, there are spacious, luxe cabins you can rent for overnight stays at this real-life historic landmark.
“With Trapper Peak framing your sunsets and the Bitterroot River Valley at your doorstep, we are proud to welcome you to the perfect Western Montana getaway,” the ranch says on its website.
The official “Yellowstone” Twitter account gave a tour of its set, the real Chief Joseph Ranch. Ranch owners say the property wasn’t listed as a film location, and it was a cold call that led to it being the setting of the hit series.
— Yellowstone (@Yellowstone) March 19, 2021
The hit Paramount show, which Variety called the most-watched scripted series on TV last year, is a soap opera that has collided with a Western. It follows the sixth-generation Dutton family and their embroiled ownership of the Yellowstone Ranch, with the family’s patriarch John Dutton played by Kevin Costner. The homesteading Duttons are up against a lot in this gritty drama: developers, the national park, the bordering Broken Rock Indian Reservation and, at times, one another.
At the real-life ranch, guests can book Lee Dutton’s Cabin, named after the oldest son in the Dutton family. Overlooking the Bitterroot River, the century-old Fisherman Cabin is a popular stay for those coming to Montana to fish. Rates start at $1,200 a night for four people, and is $50 per night for each additional guest with a max of eight total guests.
The ranch also rents out “Rip’s Cabin” or the Ben Cook Cabin, a spacious cabin with a loft and two porches. Rates start at $1,500 a night for four people and each additional guest up to eight total guests is $50.
The ranch only books rooms in the summer, and the filming schedule can interrupt that — and that’s the case right now. While reservations aren’t currently being accepted, “Yellowstone” fans can still stop at the gates and take photos of the Dutton Ranch sign when the show isn’t filming. Here are some images one Twitter user, @Lindsay_Givens, took in 2020 as they drove through the area.
Since everyone’s talking about #Yellowstone, here’s my pics from last month of the Chief Joseph Ranch where the show is set!
Side note – never seen the show. This was on our way from Yellowstone NP to Glacier NP 🥴 pic.twitter.com/uTMYN69zLT
— Lindsay Givens (@Lindsay_Givens) August 24, 2020
And here’s a video from the @chiefjosephranch YouTube page that shows you some of the scenery you can see from the site if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation there. It showcases the fact that the ranch continues to be a working business as well as a character in a TV show.
“Yellowstone” will be returning to the Paramount Network on Nov. 13 for a fifth season this November. Also, a “Yellowstone” prequel called “1932” that stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren is in the works, complete with a storyline about the Duttons tending to their ranch during the Great Depression.