Where is yellowstone filmed?

Utah and Montana shot drama Yellowstone renewed for a third season

Written by Shona Smith on Jun 21, 2019. Posted in Production News

Co-created by academy award nominated writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) and Jon Linson (Sons of Anarchy, Lords of Dogtown), the series revolves around the Dutton family who own and manage the largest ranch in the United States.

Bordering the Yellowstone National Park, the family is on the offensive as real estate developers and other interests circle. The series is shot in Montana and Utah, where both on location filming and soundstages are utilised.

Set against the expansive wilderness, the series has become a flagship program for Paramount Network. It’s first season was 2018’s most watched new cable series, and overall the second most watched cable series of the year. Although the second season has only just premiered, the network has already renewed the modern day western.

Various locations in Utah and Montana can be seen in the series. A number of historic ranches in Montana, as well as the Crow Indian reservation and landscapes in the Bitterroot Valley. Soundstages at the Utah Film Studio in Park City is used for interiors.

In comments to Deadline about his vision for the newly formed Paramount Network, the rebrand of Viacom’s Spike channel, Kent Alterman, President of Comedy Central, Paramount Network, and TV Land said “the first thing we did is we think about, what’s the implication of the name, Paramount Network? It’s movies, that’s the first thing that your mind would go to. And what’s the essence of movies?…We really want things to be cinematic with really great storytelling and have complex, nuanced, complicated characters where the setting is almost like a prime character of the whole piece…The best example of that is Yellowstone”.

Paramount has also ordered a reality series Last Cowboy from series co-creator Taylor Sheridan about competitors on the ‘reigning’ competition circuit – where competitors guide horses through a complicated pattern. Sheridan explains that “the grit, beauty and tenacity of the West are linked to America’s legacy and my creative dive has been to explore those, in all their complexities, in film and scripted television”.

From July 1 2019, Montana will operate a 20% production expenditure tax credit, with additional components that can increase the transferable credit to a maximum of 35% of total base production investment. Some of these components include 20% of above the line compensation per production or television series season, with an upper limit, 10% of all in-studio facility and equipment rental expenditures, and 25% of compensation for Montana resident crews. There is no minimum spend, and productions are exempt from sales tax.

Utah has an incentive program offering up to 25% tax credit or cash rebate on qualified Utah spend. There is no per-project cap on the tax credit but productions must spend at least USD1 million while working in the state

The reason Kevin Costner doesn’t like filming Yellowstone

Times have been tough for the Dutton clan over the first two seasons of Paramount Network’s breakout Western drama Yellowstone, but they’ve apparently been a bit tougher on series headliner Kevin Costner.

From the sound of it, Costner has been having some second thoughts about signing onto Yellowstone of late. The actor recently sat down with Indiewire to talk about the show’s just wrapped second season, and to hear him tell it, he’s not exactly enjoying some aspects of the modern cowboy drama’s production. He’s not battling saddle sores, butting heads with series writer/co-creator Taylor Sheridan, or growing tired of fighting the dust and elements on the set of the Big Sky Country-set show — the actor just isn’t entirely on board with the ways of shooting a scripted television series.

Outside of the rigorous shooting schedule, Costner’s biggest issue with Yellowstone is apparently that he feels too often left in the dark in regards to his character’s past, and where Dutton is headed emotionally from episode to episode. “I’m not always privy to , no,” Costner said. “Sometimes with sons or wife or whatever, that’s been really kept in a creative ball. That’s a more vulnerable way to go through life as an actor.”

Given the rash of melodramatic twists and turns that have seemingly accompanied every new episode of Yellowstone over the show’s first two seasons, one can understand why Costner might want a little more info about his character. After all, the keeper of The Dutton Yellowstone Ranch — which borders the famous national park and a Native American reservation — has found himself in and out of the crosshairs on several occasions in the course of the show’s first 19 episodes, with every single move Dutton makes seeming to lead him and his family further into a perilous spider’s web of crooked politicians, shaky real estate magnates, and dodgy oil conglomerates.

With so many narrative curveballs, it would be difficult for any actor, even one of Costner’s caliber, to find the right mix of tones and energies to navigate the madness with emotional honesty. For Costner in particular, Yellowstone has proven an even bigger challenge because he’s spent the bulk of his decades-long career starring in feature films — which allow actors to study the entirety of their self-contained storylines, and plot out their characters’ arcs from start to finish. Hard as it is to believe, Yellowstone is only the second television series Costner has ever starred in, with the first being the limited, three episode run of the History Channel mini-series Hatfields & McCoys.

In spite of Yellowstone’s breakout success, Costner still hasn’t gotten used to the vulnerability that comes with not knowing what lies ahead for his character. In regards to that vulnerability, Costner bluntly stated, “It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for me. I don’t like it too much.”

The Location Scouting Process

How does the Yellowstone crew discover these gems around our mountain town? We asked Yellowstone’s location manager, Dustin Daniels, to give us the run-down. “Finding locations is a tricky business,” Daniels tells us. “First, we get a script, have a concept meeting, and break down the script: Do we need a rodeo, a country club, or a lonely road?”

Then, they send out location scouts to find these places. “Once we have options, we come back to our show director, production designer, and together we make decisions as to what looks the best and what works the best,” Daniels says.

They also figure out how to film these scenes logistically, he explains. “We have to consider: Can we bring a crew of 150 people on set and get this done?” They must apply for permits, talk with local law enforcement, and inform neighbors what’s going on.

One of the most frequently used locations for Yellowstone is the gorgeous Thousand Peaks Ranch in Oakley. It’s used for many of the ranch scenes in the show, and it also served as the main location for Wind River. You won’t find the iconic Yellowstone ranch there, though; that’s actually located in Darby, Montana, where the cast and crew go for a few weeks at the end of shooting the season to get some exterior shots.

Another common location used for shooting in Park City is Promontory, a country club right outside town, which served as the country club that Dan Jenkins (played by Danny Houston) developed. If you’ve been watching the show, you might have noticed that the storyline changed and Jenkins moved into a new “office” — the role of which was assumed by Park Meadows Country Club.

One other local spot you’d likely recognize: the Park City Library. When one of the characters, Monica, is shown walking out a classroom, the setting isn’t “Bozeman University.” It’s actually our very own library, located right in Old Town off Park Avenue.

Daniels and his team also must ensure the accuracy of sets. Although most of the show is shot in Park City, the storyline does take place in Montana — not Utah. “When we shoot on 25th Street in Ogden, for instance, we have to shut down the main road, change store signs, and change any signs that say Utah,” Daniels says. “Every time we go back there, we have to change the name of the coffee shop again!”

Finally, Daniels and his team play an important role in community relations with Park City residents and business owners. “We want to make sure the community isn’t ever upset with us,” he says. “We want filming scenes to be a cool, exciting experience for everyone involved.”

Daniels also mentions that the cast and crew have grown to love Park City, and they’ve been enjoying the local restaurants and outdoor recreation. “Park City has been super welcoming to us. And if my department has done a good job, then the community will continue to welcome us.”

Is John Dutton A Real Person? The ‘Yellowstone’ Ranch Owner Is A Familiar Figure

Kevin Costner is back in the saddle — literally — playing yet another Western hero in Paramount’s new drama series Yellowstone. Costner plays John Dutton, the head of the Dutton family, who owns the largest ranch bordering Yellowstone National Park. This contemporary Western story premieres June 20 and is slated to run for 10 episodes, according to the Star Tribune. But how much is the show inspired by reality? Is John Dutton from Yellowstone a real person?

According to Collider, Costner’s character is a no-nonsense, old-school, horse-riding ranch owner who is willing to defend his land from anyone, at any cost. The official synopsis reads:

“Yellowstone follows the violent world of the Dutton family, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Led by their patriarch John Dutton, the family defends their property against constant attack by land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park.”

(Finally, an all-American hero for the modern age who can defend “his” land against those greedy Native Americans and pesky national parks!)

While Costner’s character doesn’t seem to be based on any one person, that doesn’t mean Yellowstone didn’t take inspiration from the numerous real-life ranchers who live in the area surrounding the world-famous national park. The Duttons are a fictional family, but they likely share a number of traits with real families who have led similar lives.

In a review of the first episode, TVGuide.com notes that the Dutton family ranch is located in Boseman, Montana, and is supposed to be the largest ranch in the country. However, according the The Daily Mail, the actual largest ranch in the United States wasn’t located near Yellowstone at all, but in Texas. The Waggoner Ranch, which was first established in 1849 by W.T. Waggoner, remained under the control of his descendants until it went on the real estate market in 2015, listed at $725 million. By Feb. 10, 2016, Dallas News reports that the 525,000-acre hunk of land sold to Stan Kroenke (owner of the LA Rams and Denver Nuggets), who’s now the fifth-biggest real estate owner in the country.


When it comes to ranches that actually surround Yellowstone, the Galt family is probably a closer real-life match to the Duttons. According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Galts own the third-largest plot of land in Montana, with 248,023 acres. Their property, Galt Ranch, is located in White Sulfur Springs, Montana, according to their Facebook page.

In 2010, Alaina Mousel of Tri-State Livestock News wrote an article called “The Last Cowboy,” in which she mentioned that Bill Galt, owner of Galt Ranch, needed the aid of a helicopter to survey his sweeping lands. TVGuide.com notes that the same is true of Yellowstone’s John Dutton.

David McUmber ofThe Missoulian calls Galt “one of Montana’s most prominent Republican ranchers,” and describes a story in which Galt convinced Steve Bullock, Montana’s Democratic governor, that it was a good idea to extend the elk hunting season five weeks past its initial limit. While there’s no telling at this point whether Yellowstone will tell a similar story, it’s a safe bet that John Dutton also exerts a lot of influence over his community.

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Ultimately, the Montana Stockgrowers Association claims that Montana is home to 28,100 different ranches and farms, and any number of them could have been some inspiration for the story of John Dutton. That’s not even counting the ranch operations in Wyoming and Idaho, also surrounding the Yellowstone National Park. Regardless of how much their daily lives resemble the events of Yellowstone, there’s plenty of story to be told about life out on the ranch, John Dutton dopplegängers not (necessarily) included.


Kevin Costner’s amazing series, Yellowstone, is known not just for its complicated and compelling storyline, but for its beautiful scenery that truly created a modern wild west feel. Season 2 of the series was filmed in both Montana and Utah, just like Season 1. Montana is mostly used for exterior shots, while many interior and studio shots are in Utah. Read on for more details.

More than 20 locations in Utah and Montana are used during filming for both Season 1 and Season 2. These include locations in Summit, Salt Lake City, Weber, Wasatch, and more.

Dutton’s Family Ranch Is a 100-Year-Old Ranch in Montana

John Dutton’s beautiful ranch home is filmed at the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana, located at 125 Appaloosa Trail, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The ranch is more than 100 years old. (The owner of the ranch reached out to Heavy to clarify that the lodges and barns are 100 years old, and the ranch itself was homesteaded in 1880.)

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#ThrowbackThursday to a winter photo of the barns in the 1950s courtesy of the Ford family!

A post shared by Chief Joseph Ranch (@chiefjosephranch) on Jan 9, 2020 at 7:30pm PST

The main living room of the lodge was decorated for the filming, including adding Navajo rugs to the balconies and Remington bronzes to the tables. Costner referred to the series as a “postcard for Montana.”

Rocky Mountain Homes, a local company, was hired to add a front porch to the log home before Season 1, in order to change the main entrance to the lodge to the north side for the series. They dug a trench six feet down and built the deck on top of that. They finished the entire project in just nine days.

You can sometimes book visits at Chief Joseph Ranch, according to Trip Advisor. It’s not currently listed with booking options, but it has three 5-star reviews from people who stayed there in 2011-2013. One person wrote in 2011: “The main highlight was our time spent at the Chief Joseph ranch. Bob and Janet were the best hosts and we felt very lucky to have this opportunity. We stayed in the Ben Cook cabin, great amenities. The ranch was so peaceful. We enjoyed walking around the property, looking at the deer…”

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This photo was sent to us from Stan O’Brien, who purchased Easy Dazzle from Chief Joseph Ranch in 1996! The ranch bred and showed paint horses in the 1980-90s.

A post shared by Chief Joseph Ranch (@chiefjosephranch) on Dec 30, 2019 at 7:18pm PST

According to Visit Bitterroot Valley, you can still book stays at one of two log homes on the property during the summers when Yellowstone isn’t filming. The website address for booking visits is down, but Horse and Rider also wrote about the option as recently as October 2018.

Chief Joseph Ranch is 2,500 acres, according to a Missoulian post from 2004, and overlooks Bitterroot River with magnificent views of mountains. One guest said that the home used to be surrounded by white bushes in the spring that looked like it was sitting on snow. The home is 6,000-square-feet and was heavenly. The family home was turned into a dude ranch after the father died and guests could ride horses for $70 a week. The ranch passed through different owners over the years.

Ken Clark shared the following post publicly on Yellowstone’s Facebook page before Season 1 debuted. He wrote: “Looking forward to the debut of Yellowstone on the Paramount Network tomorrow. We actually lived in the Chief Joseph Ranch Lodge (pictured below) for a year (in 1979) as caretakers and from what I can tell from the trailer it is the set of Kevin Costner’s home in the show. I spent most of that year working on my truck in one of those white barns (see trailer) and it’s pretty surreal to see all of this on TV. I have a very embarrassing picture of me in front of this house in 1979, with my truck, that I’m not quite sure I want to post ;-. But in the meantime, I found this pic from a 1997 visit with my daughter on the left, my mom, and my niece on the right. My bedroom was on the far upper right. It has a little outside balcony where I used to sit at night listening to the crickets, the sprinklers and the Bitterroot river flow by while playing my guitar. And yes, I vividly remember appreciating the moment, and that it wasn’t normal to live in an epic log mansion in Montana.”

Facebook/Ken Clark

Chief Joseph Ranch was once called the Ford-Hollister Ranch, Missoulian shared, and it’s now more than 100 years old. It was built in 1917. The ranch was even once an apple orchard. It was first owned by William Ford and Judge Hollister of Ohio, but the city men weren’t ready for country life. Ford built a summer home there over three years and for $50,000. He was going to transform it into a dairy property and built three white barns, but soon the dairy farm was replaced with horses. After Ford died in 1953, his wife converted the home into a guest ranch and new owners named it Chief Joseph Ranch later. According to Horse and Rider, Chief Joseph was a Nez Perce chief who led his people through the area in 1877 during the Nez Perce Indian War.

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Photos of Billie Ann Ford (1), Billie Ann and Phyllis Ford riding on the ranch (2), and Billie Ann leaning over the fence (3) circa 1940s. We would like to say a big thank you to Pamela Resnick and Jennifer Gilbert, great granddaughters of May Ford and to Richard Lyons for providing these historical photos! #throwbackthursday

A post shared by Chief Joseph Ranch (@chiefjosephranch) on Dec 5, 2019 at 6:00pm PST

Chief Joseph Ranch’s full history is detailed on the ranch’s website here. The ranch was designed by the architectural firm Bates & Gamble.

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Wishing your family a Happy Thanksgiving from ours at Chief Joseph Ranch! 🦃🍂

A post shared by Chief Joseph Ranch (@chiefjosephranch) on Nov 28, 2019 at 4:32pm PST

(Note: An early version of this story incorrectly listed the owner of the ranch.)

Cast & Crew Alike Have Wonderful Stories To Share About Filming

Brennan Lee, whose family member works on the set, shared some excited posts and behind-the-scenes photos about Season 2 of Yellowstone.

Here are two behind-the-scenes photos that she shared:

Part of the filming takes place near Park City, Utah, which includes using three soundstages at Utah Film Studio. Some of the rooms at Chief Joseph Lodge are recreated at the Park City soundstages, including shipping in trees from Montana. Kevin Costner told Salt Lake Tribune that working in Park City is very pleasant, allowing you to get a routine going and still live your life.

The Utah Filming Commission hosted a premiere screening of Season 2 with some of the actors.

Costner told The Salt Lake Tribune that he loves Utah, which stars as Montana for many scenes in the series. Overall, four months were filmed in Utah, mostly in Summit County. (This story originally noted that a couple weeks were filmed in Montana, but the owner told Heavy that 13 weeks for Season 1 and 12 weeks for Season 2 were filmed at the ranch.)

In the premiere, you might notice Salt Lake City Hall and the City-County Building, along with the downtown city library subbing for Montana State University.

Some tipi lodges used in the filming were provided by a A’Shii’Be’To chapter. You can see their post about it below.

But filming won’t stop for Season 2. The Utah Film Commission has already announced that Season 3 of Yellowstone will be filmed in Utah too.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from the filming. In March, one of the dolly grips for the show had open heart surgery and needed help with medical expenses. Cast and friends came together to help and the grip’s needs were met.

Here’s another beautiful photo from Season 2.

April Girard, who worked on production, wrote about the show: “Working on this production is by far one of my favorites. I am SO grateful for the opportunities season 1 & 2. Kevin Costner is so gracious. Great cast and crew. Utah Film Studio Yellowstone set is something to see. Very fascinating. Congratulations moving on to filming season 3! Looking forward to the season 2 Premiere tonight on Paramount Network. Marshall Moore thank you for all you do!!!!!!”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for the Dutton family.

Kevin Costner’s new TV series ‘Yellowstone’ is filming, and spending tons of money, all over Utah

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stage crews prepare to shoot a helicopter scene for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone on a soundstage at Utah Film Studios in Park City. The series stars Oscar-winner Kevin Costner, who is also an executive producer, as the patriarch of a family that owns the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which borders on Yellowstone National Park. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The set for a trailer home for the new Paramount Network TV series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The soundstage containing sets for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. The series stars Oscar-winner Kevin Costner, who is also an executive producer, as the patriarch of a family that owns the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which borders on Yellowstone National Park. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The set for the Dutton House for the new series titled Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The interiors of the Chief Joseph Ranch lodge, including this office, have been re-created at the Utah Film Studios in Park City for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The interiors of the Chief Joseph Ranch lodge, including this bedroom, have been re-created at the Utah Film Studios in Park City for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The interiors of the Chief Joseph Ranch lodge, including this master bedroom, have been re-created at the Utah Film Studios in Park City for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stage crews prepare to shoot a helicopter scene Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone on a soundstage at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone is taking up all three soundstages — which total 45,000 square feet — at the Utah Film Studios in Park City, pictured Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. The series stars Oscar-winner Kevin Costner, who is also an executive producer, as the patriarch of a family that owns the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which borders on Yellowstone National Park. Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The interior of the Chief Joseph Ranch lodge, including this master bathroom, have been re-created at the Utah Film Studios in Park City for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The upcoming Paramount Network TV series Yellowstone is using all three soundstages — a total of 45,000 square feet — at the Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The interiors of the Chief Joseph Ranch lodge, including this living room, have been re-created at the Utah Film Studios in Park City for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Valley University student Mason Davis plays a helicopter pilot in the upcoming Paramount Network. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. The series stars Oscar-winner Kevin Costner, who is also an executive producer, as the patriarch of a family that owns the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, which borders on Yellowstone National Park. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Yellowstone sets at the Utah Film Studios include the interior of a trailer is home to some of the upcoming series’ characters. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stage crews prepare to shoot a helicopter scene Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone on a soundstage at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) General foreman Christopher Rice talks about building sets for the upcoming Paramount Network TV series Yellowstone, which is being filmed, in part, at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stage crews prepare to shoot a helicopter scene Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone on a soundstage at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The bunkhouse set for the upcoming Paramount Network series Yellowstone at Utah Film Studios in Park City. (Photo courtesy Paramount) Kevin Costner stars in the upcoming, made-in-Utah TV series Yellowstone. (Photo courtesy Paramount Network) Kevin Costner stars in the upcoming TV series Yellowstone, which was filmed largely in Utah.

A Guide to All the Places Where ‘Yellowstone’ Was Shot

Debuting in late 2018, Kevin Costner’s western drama show ‘Yellowstone’ has become a favorite for those of us who cannot resist the allure of the wild west. However, ‘Yellowstone’ brings the age-old western into the modern age, combining the adventure, initiative and breathtaking scenery of the frontier with a more modern-day setting.

The show focuses on the Dutton family and its patriarch John Dutton (played by two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Costner), who owns the largest contiguous ranch in the entire United States. In the new frontier, violence is the order of the day and might equals right. John is faced with the challenge of protecting his land from a number of threats including land developers and a nearby Indian reservation.

Besides Kevin Costner, the main cast of ‘Yellowstone’ features ‘American Sniper’ actor Luke Grimes as Kayce Dutton, former Navy SEAL and one of John’s sons; English actress Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton, John’s daughter and a highly educated financier suffering from a drug abuse problem; Wes Bentley as Jamie Button, a wannabe politician and one of John’s sons; Cole Hauser as Rip Wheeler, ranch foreman at Yellowstone and John’s enforcer, and Kelsey Asbille as Monica Long Dutton, Kayce’s Native American wife and school teacher.

If you were wondering where was ‘Yellowstone’ filmed, keep on reading.

Yellowstone Filming Locations

‘Yellowstone’ is a show known for its breathtaking scenery and depiction of a truly authentic looking modern day frontier. When watching the show one of the first questions that pops into the mind is where exactly is the show filmed? Since the best way to depict life in and around a ranch is to film inside one, that is exactly what the show does.

‘Yellowstone’ is filmed on location and on set in a variety of venues across Utah and Montana in the USA. While the majority of the exterior shoots are done in Montana, USA, the interior shots are filmed inside a studio in Utah. All in all, more than 20 locations across Utah and Montana are used for filming ‘Yellowstone’.

Actor Kevin Costner, who plays John Dutton on the show describes his experience shooting on location, “What we see onscreen — the mountains, valleys, horses, and more — isn’t Hollywood magic, it’s very real. You step outside and you see running horses and men working, and the weather dictates what you do”.

‘Yellowstone’ Key Art Photographer Emerson Miller posted these pictures of the cast in full getup:

Chief Joseph Ranch, Darby, Montana

John Dutton’s ranch in ‘Yellowstone’ is actually the magnificent Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana. The ranch, which is now well over a hundred years old, is located along the Bitterroot River and has a great view of the mountains as well.

If you wish to have a first hand look at the ranch and get a taste of the wild west yourself, you can book visits at the Chief Joseph Ranch on occasions when ‘Yellowstone isn’t filming on location.

Various Locations Across Montana

Certain scenes on ‘Yellowstone’ are also filmed on location across different areas in Montana. For example, all the courtroom scenes are filmed in Montana’s capital city, Helena, whereas the highway scene was filmed in the bucolic community of Divide in Montana. Actor Cole Hauser, who plays Rip Wheeler on the show posted this picture on his Instagram account:

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😂 spitting image #lukegrimes #stunts #yellowstone

A post shared by Cole Hauser (@colehauser22) on Sep 6, 2019 at 1:57pm PDT

Utah Film Studio, Utah

Most of the interior scenes in ‘Yellowstone’ are filmed on set in the Utah Film Studio near Park City, Utah. The filming utilizes three soundstages, complete with fully recreated versions of some of the rooms in Chief Joseph Ranch and trees imported from Montana for consistency. Besides ‘Yellowstone’, Utah Film Studio is also one of the filming locations for several movies including ‘Hereditary’, ‘Wind River’ and ‘Damsel’.

Various Locations Across Utah

Besides the Utah Film studio, ‘Yellowstone’ also films on location across Utah. One of these locations is Salt Lake City, where the Salt Lake City Library masquerades as Montana State University on the show. Other filming locations in Utah include Summit, Weber and Wasatch. A fan posted these pictures of Kevin Costner filming for ‘Yellowstone in Utah:

Kevin Costner in downtown Ogden Utah yesterday 8/23/18
Filming his new TV Show @yellowstone_tv pic.twitter.com/qf80msWCQU

— Me I am Mariahlover (@ziebart01) August 24, 2018

Acclaimed drama Yellowstone, starring two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Costner, has made its Australian debut, with every single episode of the series having dropped exclusively to Stan.

The contemporary Western has earned praise from fans and critics for its cinematic qualities, complex character development and authenticity, becoming the most-watched original cable TV series in the US this year.

Yellowstone on Stan. (Kevin Lynch for Paramount Network)

Yellowstone chronicles the powerful and corrupt Dutton family, descendants of early 19th century Montana settlers, and heirs to the biggest cattle ranch in the country.

At the centre of the action is patriarch John Dutton (Costner), a seemingly salt-of-the-earth type man on a mission to secure the future of his sprawling Montana ranch and continue his family’s legacy — at any cost.

Yellowstone on Stan. (Emerson Miller for Paramount Network)

Bordered in part by the spectacular Yellowstone National Park, the ranch is easily a character unto itself, providing stunning vistas and sweeping cinematic shots that set our blazing scene… and we mean blazing.

Yellowstone Ranch is in constant conflict with its surroundings, which includes an expanding town full of hungry developers and Broken Rock Reservation, a native community seeking custodial land rights.

Yellowstone on Stan. (Kevin Lynch for Paramount Network)

While it may look like a movie, Yellowstone offers peak drama levels to rival any television soap opera. Sex, drugs, murder, sickness and scandal run rife as morality is questioned and secret sins are exposed.

Yellowstone on Stan. (Emerson Miller for Paramount Network)

The ranching world portrayed in the series isn’t a far cry from Costner’s own family roots. His late father William Costner was one of 11 children raised on a wheat farm in Oklahoma until the Great Depression.

The 64-year-old actor credits his father’s story for helping him to get into character as John Dutton. “He was tough; he was a fighter; he could fight. And he taught me in a way that was designed to win,” Costner told The Hollywood Reporter of his father, who passed away nearly 20 years ago.


During an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, the actor revealed that his character actually uses his dad’s old .30-30 rifle, a small gesture to honour his father and pay homage to his grandparents’ Oklahoma farm.

Yellowstone on Stan. (Kevin Lynch for Paramount Network)

From the Academy Award nominated writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water, the series features a standout cast alongside Costner, including Luke Grimes (American Sniper), Kelly Reilly (Flight), Cole Hauser (Rogue), BAFTA Award-nominee Wes Bentley (American Horror Story), Gil Birmingham (Animal Kingdom), Kelsey Asbille (Teen Wolf) and Golden Globe nominee Danny Huston (Angel has Fallen).

Yellowstone on Stan. (Kevin Lynch for Paramount Network)

Following the breakthrough succession of the first two seasons, a third season is already in the works and is expected to premiere in Australia on Stan next year, same day as the US. But for now, you can stream every single episode of Yellowstone right now, only on Stan.

*Presented by Stan


Planting their cowboy boots squarely in our backyard, the Paramount Network has created a new modern-day TV western called Yellowstone, starring Oscar-winner Kevin Costner.

Costner, following in a long line of movie stars taken by the state, calls Paramount’s Yellowstone his “postcard to Montana.”

The series, loosely set just outside the park, debuts June 20. Shooting locations include Living-ston, Helena, the Butte area, the Crow Reservation, Darby, and Hamilton. Interior ranch house scenes in the series were filmed in a studio in Utah.

Costner plays John Dutton, family patriarch of a fictional Yellowstone Ranch, the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, bordered by Yellowstone National Park and a likewise fictional Broken Arrow Indian Reservation.

When Paramount announced production last spring, Deadline.com characterized the show as “an intense study of a violent world…where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news: They are a consequence of living in the New Frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both.”

Reviews of Yellowstone call it “Masculine, muscular, gritty, vio-lent…” and a tailor-made vehicle for Costner’s acting style. “He’s trying to keep his business afloat during a particularly trying economic down-swing,” indiewire.com wrote. “As outside forces encroach on the Dutton’s literal and figurative territory…there are some explosive consequences.”

Paramount greenlighted an initial 10 episodes. The production is both Paramount and Costner’s first venture into series TV.

During filming last fall, the Pioneer learned, a variety of events revealed the distinct challenges of filmmaking in general and those particular to Montana.

Outside of Butte, I-15 closed down for half a day to film a dramatic showdown with a convoy of dozens of military trucks. At another time, a bear supposedly wandered through filming, had to be lassoed and “removed,” according to the Ravalli Republic. Not so, said Paramount publicist Perrie Eppie. “It wasn’t a ‘loose’ bear. It was part of a scene that was carefully handled by our animal wranglers.”

Six wolves appear in the show, she teased. “I can’t give away any more (than that) or I risk a spoiler.”

Much drama centers on Costner’s mixed-race daughter-in-law from the neighboring reservation, played by Kelsey Asbille, and his daughter, played by Kelly Riley. Both women add a lot of drama to the series, Eppie told the Pioneer.

Eppie said the show has yet to film location shots within Yellowstone National Park. “We try to leave a small footprint, and that can be difficult with all our trucks and equipment,” she said.

Set on the border of the park, much of the Montana filming took place in Darby. The show tried to find the production’s iconic ranch house in the Livingston area, Eppie said, and were scouting the Paradise Valley for filming locations when they heard about the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby. “We wanted to find (a ranch house) in Livingston. We tried. We scouted locations in the Livingston area, but we actually found what we needed in Darby,” she said.

Currently in post-production editing, the series “has just a few more (outdoor) Montana scenes needed, as soon as the snow quits,” Eppie told us in mid March.

Yellowstone pairs Costner’s cinematic heft with notable screenwriter and director Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the series.

In an interview with the Ravalli Republic, Sheridan claimed the show’s premise as his idea, and explained that in 2013 he started writing the scripts in Livingston.

A Wyoming native, Sheridan has leapt onto the film scene in recent years with three significant screenplays, including the tense border drama Siccario, starring Benicio Del Toro, Hell or High Water, starring Jeff Bridges, and more recently, Wind River, an Indie style film Sheridan wrote and directed.

Adding an additional would-be layer of western mythology, Sheridan wrote Yellowstone, or at least the series pilot, in the famous Sam Peckinpah Suite at the Murray Hotel, his publicist informed us.

In the 1970s, famed director Sam Peckinpah lived in a suite in the Murray Hotel, and added to his own larger-than-life reputation by shooting up the ceiling. The Peckinpah suite was originally built for railway magnate James Hill’s son. Over the years, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, humorist Will Rodgers and the Queen of Denmark stayed in the suite.

“I wrote a show where I wanted to be,” Sheridan told the Republic, “and that wasn’t in California but in Montana. So I came up with a story line I thought was relevant. I could have shot this anywhere else, but I couldn’t find this anywhere else…I decided to make a financial sacrifice to come here.”

Story line indeed. Sheridan did stay at the Murray Hotel in 2014 and 2017, according to hotel records. However, he did not stay in the Peckinpah suite, but a similar suite nearby, according to the owner of the hotel, who examined guest records when our editor paid a recent visit to the front desk.

Sheridan has lamented publicly the financial negatives of filming in Montana—the lack of competitive tax incentives, which other states offer production companies, and the remoteness of the state. He told the Ravalli Republic that he’s willing to testify before the state legislature on the issue. “I took a funding hit…” he said. “You’re stuck with me now. But for the next (movie), and the next one… it would be nice (to have financial incentives).”

According to the Montana Department of Commerce, the production paid some $100,000 in labor; and another $1.45 million for lodging, supplies and location fees, including $25,000 to film in the state Capitol.

The production hired at least 63 Bitterroot Valley residents for everything from production assistants to drivers.

Last spring, Yellowstone unveiled as its producer the now disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. In a Deadline.com interview, Weinstein effusively praised Costner: “We are thrilled to have such a celebrated actor as Costner to play the lead role in such an important project for Paramount Studios,” he said. “This is a coup for the show and fulfills a joint promise that Kevin and I made to each other—that we would find a mutual project to work on.”

Within months, international allegations of sexual assault and harassment derailed Weinstein’s career and reputation, and by October his name quietly disappeared from Yellowstone’s credits.

“Our goal is to bring premium cinematic storytelling to television. With an icon such as Kevin Costner in front of the camera, and the renowned Taylor Sheridan behind the camera, we are off to a great start,” said Keith Cox, president of development and production for Paramount.

Most interior shots were done at the Utah Film Studio in Park City, Utah, which offers a 90,000 square foot indoor complex. “Utah doesn’t have the same look as Montana,” Eppie continued, “but this allowed us to do interior filming without worrying about the weather.”

The Salt Lake Tribune headlined its coverage of the production, “Utah Starring As Montana.”

The Tribune article reported that the film company “Is spending lots of money all over Utah. It’s pumping $30 million into the state economy. ‘This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done,’” said Paramount spokesman David Schwarz.

In an earlier interview Montana Film Commissioner Allison Whitmer opined, optimistically, that the series could expect a 5-to-7-year run.

Paramount could renew for another season “any day now,” Eppie told the Pioneer.

Costner worked in Montana in 1987’s Untouchables as federal agent Eliot Ness. The Prohibition-Era movie about Al Capone and Chicago had Costner film a whiskey-smuggling scene with Wolf Creek’s Hardy Bridge as a stand-in for the Canadian border.

Costner previously won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his 2012 TV work in the History Channel’s three-part mini-series Hatfield & McCoys.

Yellowstone is the first network TV series filmed in Montana. Last summer Netflix filmed Loco in Laurel.