“This is not a set. It’s not ‘on stage.’ This is a private home that we are lucky enough to be in.” Walk through the real-life location of Yellowstone like never before in Paramount Network’s exclusive new reveal.
Ever wondered how close-to-life Yellowstone keeps the ranch we see in the show to reality? Or where the show is filmed in the first place? Paramount is taking the lid off their #1 drama’s production to give fans an exclusive glimpse into the real-life shooting location of Yellowstone: Montana’s Chief Joseph Ranch.
“The most surreal thing in the world – and the most humbling thing in the world – is when you’re sitting in your own living room watching a show that’s filmed in your house,” begins Chief Joseph Ranch’s owner Shane Libel.
The Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, is the REAL Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Owner Shane Libel and set decorator Carla Curry discuss the history of one of the show’s most important characters. Season 4 of Yellowstone, cable’s No. 1 drama, returns in 2021 on Paramount Network.Paramount Network
Shane Libel and the Chief Joseph Ranch Legacy
Libel and his family own Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, the westerner cites with a gleam in his eye. It’s an enterprise Libel is beyond proud of. And who wouldn’t be? Even though his family “runs the ranch as a guest ranch from June through August,” Libel says they “have hundreds of people come by and take photos of the Dutton Ranch sign – often times through the gates.”
This doesn’t bother Libel in the least, either. In fact, he loves every bit of it. So much so, in fact, that he leaves the signs up “all-year-round” for fans, he smiles.
Yet this never gets in the way of the Libel’s operating Chief Joseph for it’s true purpose. “We have horses and cows. We sell hay, and we do all the things that a ranch does!” Shane adds.
As for the property’s structures themselves, which form the “heart and soul” of Yellowstone, Libel says “there’s always a balance between ‘what do we preserve historically?’ – and ‘what do we make functional for modern family?'”
“We have a responsibility,” he continues. “I mean, we live here, we own this – but we really don’t own this… Because we’re just here until the next person we hand it off to [inherits it],” Libel concludes.
As he does, Paramount’s reel plays through moments of John Dutton and his grandson, Tate, together on the ranch. It’s a prime example of how perfect a fit Yellowstone is for Chief Joseph Ranch and the Libel’s legacy.
‘Yellowstone’s Set Decorator Extraordinaire: Carla Curry
“This is the real deal!” lauds Yellowstone‘s Carla Curry. “This is what makes this show… sing.”
Next up is the show’s brilliant set decorator. Curry adores her work for Paramount. Yet this pales in comparison to the respect she holds for Chief Joseph’s historical significance.
“This lodge has actually become a character in our show,” she smiles of the ranch. Offering a bit of a tour around the grand lodge, Curry cites that the structure “was built from 1914 to 1917. All of the original logs and stones that are used in this property are from the property itself,” she reveals of Chief Joseph’s immaculate construction.
“The main timber that is up in the roof is 153 feet long, and it is actually one single tree,” she exclaims. And for Curry, CJR’s remarkable features like this one couldn’t be more perfect.
“This is the feel we wanted for the Dutton family,” the set decorator continues. “The lodge has certainly been here for generations, and we wanted it to feel like it had evolved over these generations.”
“Our job is to make these environments look real,” she adds, explaining that the Yellowstone crew also leaves everything in place “all year round.”
“This is not a set. It’s not on stage,” she praises of the show’s authenticity through Chief Joseph. “This is a private home that we are lucky enough to be in.”
“Not only is a private home, but it is historically an unbelievably-irreplaceable home. So we’re proud of it. We want to keep the integrity of it. And we want to honor our additional cast member, here, because it truly has become a character of its own,” Curry concludes.