Where is Yellowstone filmed? The show has been filmed primarily in Utah and Montana with recent seasons being produced mostly in Montana (yay!).
For the few of you that aren’t familiar with the show, “Yellowstone” is an American drama series that revolves around the powerful Dutton family, owners of the largest ranch in the United States, located near Yellowstone National Park. As they navigate the challenges of maintaining control over their land, the Duttons face constant threats from rival ranchers, developers, and the government, leading to intense power struggles, complex family dynamics, and moral dilemmas set against the breathtaking backdrop of the national park.
Yellowstone Filming Locations
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the majority (70%+) of the first three seasons of the series were filmed in more than 20 locations across Utah. The filming was incentivized by the state of Utah.
The DeseretNews claims that about 75% of the show’s first three seasons were shot in Utah, using Utah Film Studios as a home base. Some of the Montana scenery depicted in the show were actually shot in the Utah cities of:
- Heber City
- Grantsville, and
Starting in Season 4, the majority of the filing was moved to Montana. Given our focus on Montana, we applaud the move!
Let’s take a look and specific filming locations in some of the Yellowstone’s key scenes.
Yellowstone’s Opening Scene
The iconic opening sequence of “Yellowstone” showcases the stunning aerial shots of the expansive Yellowstone National Park, highlighting its natural beauty and grandeur. The park is known as the home of geysers and hot springs as it sits at the top of a dormant volcano with a view of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.
Paradise Valley, Montana
In the stunning expanse of Paradise Valley, Montana, a pivotal scene unfolds in Yellowstone’s first season. Bathed in the golden light of morning, John Dutton, portrayed by Kevin Costner, stands atop a ridge overlooking his vast ranch.
The panoramic view of the Absaroka and Gallatin Mountains frames the tranquil landscape, contrasting with the simmering tensions that threaten his legacy. This breathtaking setting encapsulates the delicate balance between power and vulnerability that defines Yellowstone.
If you’re looking for some great scenery in this area, check out our complete guide to the Gallatin River.
Bitterroot Valley, Montana
A riveting scene unfolds against the backdrop of dense forests and meandering rivers in the heart of the captivating Bitterroot Valley, Montana. Kayce Dutton, a former Navy SEAL, and John Dutton’s son takes center stage in this dramatic moment. With unwavering bravery, Kayce embarks on a treacherous river rescue. Every stroke of Kayce’s determined struggle against nature’s force showcases his remarkable skill and resourcefulness. The Bitterroot Valley’s natural splendor intensifies the high-stakes nature of the scene, immersing viewers in the captivating beauty and perilous challenges faced by the Dutton family.
A dramatic showdown takes place at Broken Rock, a fictional location within the Yellowstone universe. This scene features an intense confrontation between the Dutton family and their adversaries, highlighting the complex dynamics and power struggles within the ranching community.
The actual filming location for Broken Rock is not specified, but it is likely a set constructed specifically for the series.
If you visit the area, be sure to check out the Bitterroot Valley Scenic Drive.
The Dutton Ranch Itself
Several intense and gritty branding scenes took place on the Dutton Ranch, displaying the rugged work involved in cattle ranching. These scenes often depict the cowboys and ranch hands branding cattle with the Dutton family’s iconic Yellowstone brand. The Ranch, also known as Chief Joseph Ranch in real life is located a few hours away from the national park. It is a fully functioning ranch in Darby, Montana.
If you’re interested in staying at a Montana ranch, check out our list of the top dude ranches in Montana.
Specifically, the adults-only Triple Creek Ranch which is the closest dude ranch to Yellowstone’s Dutton Ranch is located near the Chief Joseph Ranch and is considered one of the most romantic dude ranches in Montana.
Amidst the majestic Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, a thrilling scene unfolds in Yellowstone’s second season.
Rip Wheeler, portrayed by Cole Hauser, embarks on a heart-pounding horseback chase through rugged mountains and untamed forests. Filmed in the untouched beauty of this Montana-Wyoming wilderness, the scene captures the raw power of nature and Rip’s unwavering determination, delivering an exhilarating moment that epitomizes the adventurous spirit of Yellowstone.
More information on the Absaroka mountain range is available here.
And more information on the Beartooth mountain range is available here.
If you’re looking for a stunning and scenic Montana drive, check out the Beartooth Highway. Although those prone to car sickness should be leery of the actual Beartooth Pass….trust me on that one!
Montana, Home to Yellowstone!
After spending the first three seasons in Utah, “Yellowstone” is primarily filmed on location in Montana.
The series takes advantage of the state’s diverse landscapes, including the stunning vistas of Yellowstone National Park, as well as the surrounding areas of Missoula, Bozeman, Darby, and the Bitterroot Valley.
The production team also utilizes various ranches in Montana to depict the Dutton Ranch and its surroundings, adding an authentic touch to the filming locations.