Seen several times in the 1953 motion picture Shane, this cabin and homestead is commonly called “The Shane Cabin”.
To be historically accurate, you’d be calling the area the Luther Taylor Cabin and Homestead. In the movie, it was the Ernie Wright cabin and homestead, but not many people around here would know where the cabin is if you used either of these names. There are no historical plaques or information kiosks at this site. The rest of the buildings and sets were removed after the filming of the movie.
The cabin is located a couple of miles from Kelly in Grand Teton National Park. When at Kelly, go north about a mile, then turn right (East) and follow the winding road about a mile. The cabin is in a low area just off the left side of the road. The barns on Mormon Row are only a few miles way—and they often get the bulk of the attention with summer visitors. I find the Shane cabins a welcome option throughout the year. The roads into the Mormon Row are are closed during the Winter, however, there is year around access to the Shane Cabins. (Click the thumbnail map to view it much larger)
Shane Cabins as Seen from the Road: This was taken from the side of the road, looking North. Besides the main cabin, there are a couple of additional out buildings. I’ve tried to photograph them, but struggle to find a composition I like.
Shane Cabin with First Light On the Teton Range: The cabins and homestead sits low under a hill to the east. It doesn’t get light until later in the morning so I usually try to photograph it early during Alpenglow or after the sun finally hits the cabin. You can compensate for the extreme differences in light by using a neutral density filter. In the winter, the snow helps light the foreground, so it’s still possible to shoot in the early morning.
The New Fence: In 2009, the Park Service built a new buck-rail fence. This was taken from the Northeast corner and looking back towards the parking area.
The Old Fence: I took this image very early one morning in 2008 with the old fence still holding on and casting some interesting shadows on the snow.
The Teton Range: It is possible to include the Grand and Mt. Moran in a shot of the cabin.
December View Through the Old Window: Taken through the old window on the north wing.
North Window: Similar shot at night with some light added with a light and long exposure.
Sunrise Shot from the Road: A few of the old Aspen trees have fallen over since I took this shot in 2006, but there are usually several additional opportunities at the Shane Cabins.
Shane Cabin in the Fog: The seasons offer ever changing opportunities.
Full Moon Lighting the Cabin: I had been up the Gros Ventre to capture the rising full moon reflections in Slide lake. I stopped on the way home to capture this image of the passing clouds and stars over the moon lit cabin. I added some extra fill light on the cabin with a flashlight during a long exposure.
Storm Clouds: Taken from the West looking back towards Slide Lake. The white patch in the upper right is the scar from the landslide.
Winter Cabin: Low clouds can obscure the mountains on some days, but long shadows and great light can still make a nice shot.
Night: This image was “light painted” in the early night using a long exposure of around 20-25 seconds (on a tripod of course). I used a couple of flashlights to light up sections of the cabin and grass. I like this time of the night for light painting in the Tetons. It lets the sky turn blue, yet allows a few stars to dot the sky. I usually wait to start shooting until I can see quite a few stars, but tend to stop once the sky turns black. That’s a personal preference, however, as a lot of night photographers like the period after all ambient light is long gone.
Cold Sunrise: As I looked through my folder of shots from the Shane Cabins, I realize a lot of them have snow. I don’t think it was necessarily on purpose, but after the Park Service closes a lot of the roads for the Winter, the Shane Cabins are still accessible. They offer at least some sort of foreground subject without a long, cold hike. Normally, after a fresh snow, I start out at a distance and then gradually move in. I doubt those are my footprints.
Mt. Moran and the Shane Cabin: This one was taken from the buck rail fence by the road. At some point in the Winter, it is advisable to have snow shoes if you want to get close to the cabin. The snow can be quite deep.
In December of 2014, I added this page about the movie. It has some information on finding some of the movie set locations and some more information about the remains of what many people call the Shane Cabins.
January 29, 2015 Update: Park finds, fixes graffiti on “Shane” cabin : Story in the JH News & Guide. There’s a photo of the graffiti in the daily along with the story. The news story also says the Luther Taylor site is in line for some historical designation within the park. “After completion of a park Historic Properties Management Plan — which faces public review this spring — it’s expected to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Skaggs said.”
Other Links and Resources:
- “Wyoming – A History of Film and Video in the 20th Century” CD by Walt Farmer.
- Entering Wyoming: A Page about Shane
- Shane movie trailer on YouTube
Please Note: All of the images on this page are fully copyrighted with the US Copyright Office. ©2013 Mike R. Jackson – All Rights Reserved