‘Yellowstone’ TV: Does Anyone Actually Live on the Real Dutton Ranch?

by Katie Maloney

Certainly, the Dutton Ranch on Yellowstone is beautiful. So, does anyone actually live on the ranch when the show isn’t filming?

With breathtaking views of the mountains, running horses, and blue skies, the Dutton Ranch is basically its own character on Yellowstone. Combine all of those stunning landscapes with the Dutton family drama, and you got yourself record-breaking ratings. But simply seeing these nature scenes on TV may not be enough for all viewers. Some fans may want to see the Dutton Ranch in person. So, is that possible? Does anyone actually live on the Dutton Ranch?

The answer is: kind of. When the Duttons, Rip Wheeler, and the other ranch hands aren’t roaming the ground while filming Yellowstone, the ranch is actually called the Chief Joseph Ranch. And no one officially calls the ranch home, year-round. Instead, Chief Joseph Ranch is a 2,500-acre working guest ranch and anyone can make a reservation there. In fact, the ranch was one of the first-ever working guest ranches in the west. When the owner of the ranch passed away in 1935, his wife and her two daughters turned their home into a guest ranch. And it’s been operating that way ever since.

Can Any Fan Book a Reservation at the Ranch on Yellowstone?

The Chief Joseph Ranch is located in Darby, Montana. Darby has a population of about 720 people and is located about 4 hours west of Bozeman, and about an hour south of Missoula in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. And all of Yellowstone’s indoor scenes at the lodge, barns, bunkhouse, and trapper’s cabin are filmed in and around the 104-year-old, 5,000 square foot stone lodge. Obviously, the lodge is featured in Yellowstone. But it’s also been featured in several publications through the years, including Architectural DigestNew York Times, and Good House Keeping.

But don’t start booking your trip just yet. About 70-75 percent of the first three seasons of Yellowstone were filmed in more than 20 locations across Utah, including Park City, Ogden, and Spanish Fork. However, in 2020, Paramount announced that all filming for Yellowstone would take place in Montana beginning with Season four. So, due to increased show production on the ranch, Chief Joseph Ranch is fully booked through 2021. You can check out their website for reservation information for 2022. And in the meantime, you can watch this video highlighting the Chief Joseph Ranch grounds.

2012 video of Chief Joseph Ranch