Real-Life ‘Yellowstone’ Ranch Lets Guests Live Like the Duttons
If you’re a fan of the popular Paramount Network series ‘Yellowstone’, and wistfully wish you could experience those wide-open spaces, blue-tinged mountains and vivid sunsets, we have good news.
The 2,500-acre Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, which doubles as the show’s fictional Dutton Ranch, is not only a real-life historic landmark, family homestead and working ranch—but, it’s also a guest ranch with cabins available for rental (when the show’s not filming, of course).
The storied setting, situated in Western Montana’s Bitterroot River Valley, has a history that’s just as rich as its fictional counterpart. The land was occupied by the Salish tribe of Native Americans for centuries before Lewis and Clark discovered it in 1805 by following a native trail that led across what is now ranch land.
Decades later, in the summer of 1877, Chief Joseph would lead his people as they fled from the U.S. Army during the Nez Perce War. Only a few years passed before settlers arrived as homesteaders and the ranch, originally known as Shelton Ranch, was born.
Glass tycoon William S. Ford, who co-owned the rank in 1914, was the one who built its iconic main lodge using local logs and stones. The 6,000-square-foot lodge became one of the American West’s great log structures, which, according to the ranch’s website, “occupies a place alongside the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone and the Lodges at Glacier National Park.” The 1920s and ‘30s would see the addition of three huge barns for dairy cows and the cabins that now function as guest houses.
Now, the lodge has taken on a new life by being featured in ‘Yellowstone’ as the Dutton’s main residence. But, when filming is over, the impressively rustic structure actually still serves as the current ranch owners’ family home. As such, it’s not available for guest rental, but the standalone guest cabins are rentable for vacation stays.
Fans of the show will recognize the two standalone guest houses as Lee Dutton’s cabin, and the cabin occupied by Rip in season one and Kayce in season two, according to Travel Awaits.
The first, (really called ‘The Fisherman’s Cabin’) is only about 50 feet away from the lodge and overlooks the Bitterroot River, boasting panoramic views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains. It goes for $1,200 per night for up to four guests, plus another $50 for each additional person up to a maximum of eight guests. Luxurious amenities include a full kitchen, Weber grill, washer and dryer, DirectTV and Wi-Fi.
The second, (actually called ‘The Ben Cook Cabin’) is a bit bigger, but also sleeps up to eight guests at $1,500 a night for four occupants, with $50 added on for each additional person. It comes with all of the same amenities as The Fisherman’s Cabin and equally incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
Every reservation includes a tour of the ranch, the show’s sets and filming locations; and access to the greater part of the property, including fishing spots, and corrals and pastures to accommodate guests’ horses. Guests with reservations are the only visitors allowed on the property, so booking a ranch vacation is the only way to get an inside view of this spectacular site.