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Cemetery Hill

Shane Movie Locations:

Obscure Sites in the Teton Valley.

Shane Cover

In December of 2014, I created this post: “SHANE” — The Epic Western Movie Filmed in Jackson Hole. Since then, it has been one of the most popular pages on Best of the Tetons. This new page is intended to augment the first one, with specific directions, GPS coordinates and photos taken at the actual sites.

“Shane”, the epic western movie was filmed in Jackson Hole in 1951 and released in 1953.  That’s common knowledge by almost all Jackson Hole residents. Other than the cabin on the Gros Ventre Road, affectionately given the name “the Shane Cabin”, most people have no idea where the rest of the important scenes were filmed. I wouldn’t either, if not for the work and dedication of Walt Farmer. He was around during filming, collecting literature, interviews, photos, and memorabilia about the classic movie.

Walt created a CD about the many movies filmed in Jackson Hole. “Wyoming – A History of Film and Video in the 20th Century” is available at the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum.

You can purchase the movie itself at: Wal-Mart | Amazon.com NetFlix if you have an account: | eBay: | Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum Prices range from about $4 used to $6 new up to $15.

You can watch the movie trailer here: Amazon.com .

By almost anyone’s contemporary standards, Walt’s CD interface is inferior and clunky. Still, the information in the CD is astounding and thorough. If you are a western buff, movie buff, or just love Jackson Hole, the $40 cost might be well worth it. Walt gave walking tours to the sites when he was alive, but since then, it doesn’t appear many people visit the locations. There are no plaques or any sort of identification. Paths, if you can find them, are ghostly visible and unused. After over 60 years, sagebrush has reclaimed all areas scraped off for the buildings, streets, and ranches.

Starrett’s Homestead

Starrett's Cabin

Starretts Cabin

Starrett’s Cabin: Most of the important scenes in Shane were filmed at either the Starrett Homestead or at “the Town Site”. The cabin, barn, and corrals were built for the movie and then removed after filming. “In 1927, the Kelly Warm Springs emerged as a result of a powerful flood. Residents of Mormon Row named it “The Miracle Spring” as it provided the community with much needed water year round.” Source: GTNP pamphlet available at Mormon Row. Farmers dug numerous irrigation ditches, allowing them to flood fields for their crops. The “creek” shown in the movie as actually part of the original irrigation ditch. The stream was wider at the time of the filming. Currently, there are berms about 3′ to 5′ above the water line along most of its length.

Starrett Homestead

Coordinates: 43.64475° by N -110.63722 W  (Via Walt Farmer) Click this map to view it much larger! Allow about 15-20 minutes for the hike out to the site. I also suggest long pants, as the sagebrush is now thick and high. (Click the map to view it much larger)

The Town Site ~ Cemetery Hill ~ Three Tree Hill

Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill and the Old Town Site:  This location takes a bit of a hike.There are a few remnant planks on the hill. The town site is in the distance and Three Tree Hill is off to the left. I composited in the images from the movie over the photo I took at the site. Just like the Starrett site, sagebrush has reclaimed the area.

Coordinates: 43.73027° N by -110.62167° W (Via Walt Farmer)

Three Tree Hill

Three Tree Hill: Shane and various riders pass through these trees in numerous shots.

Three Tree Hill

Three Tree Hill: Walt Farmer mentions the three trees were planted on this hillside by the production crew. They have since fallen down but you might see remnants of them just to the west of the small grove of aspens. It appeared to me there is a faint hint of the old road.

Coordinates: 43.72955° N by -110.62917° W (Via Walt Farmer)

The General Coordinates of the Town Site are: 43.73109° N by -110.62847° W (Via Walt Farmer). You might still find a few pieces of debris, but are asked not to remove any of them.

Town Site Region

Town Site Region: To access the Town Site, go east on the gravel road just south of Snake River Overlook, then take the gravel road south. Park Rangers call this the East Boundary Road, though some call it the Forest Service access road, and it is identified as Antelope Flats Road on some satellite maps. A power line runs more or less parallel with the East Boundary Road (shown in amber). (Click the map to view it much larger)

Town Site

Detail of Town Site Zone: Head south on the East Boundary Road for a couple of miles until it meets up with the power line and park there. Follow the service road for the power line north until you see the post marked with the letters and numbers above. At one time, the first letter was probably a K, but now looks more like an I. You’ll have to look around just north of that post for the remains of a trail. It’s not a great trail, but it is much better than bushwhacking your way through the thigh high, mature sagebrush. The trail will take you to Cemetery Hill, roughly a half mile out. You will likely end up walking between 1.5 and 2 miles on the full trip. Remember to find the trail from Cemetery Hill back to your vehicle! (Click the map to view it much larger)

The Town Site and Starrett’s Homesite are grown back over now, as I mentioned earlier. Neither places offer any better view of the Teton Range than any other spot along the valley floor. In other words, about the ONLY reason you would hike out to either site is to get the nostalgic “warm and fuzzy feeling” of standing on the very spots the movies stars, directors, and film crews stood over 60 years ago! For many movie lovers, that’s enough!


Shane Cabin

The Ernie Wright (Shane Cabin): Just about everyone around here calls this “The Shane Cabin”. It was built by Luther Taylor and leased to the production company by Roy Chambers. There are no historic signs or plaques at the site.

Shane Cabin

This site was only used in the movie for a few minutes. The Park Service has now deemed it as a “ruins” and is letting it deteriorate.

Shane Cabin Map

The Shane Cabin is accessible year round by driving a mile or so north of Kelly, and then following the Gros Ventre Road another couple of miles. You shouldn’t need GPS coordinates, but here they are: 43.64355° N by -110.60497° W (Via Walt Farmer) (Click the map to view it much larger) 

Lewis Homestead

Lewis Homestead

The Lewis Homestead: Seen briefly in the movie. Lewis and his family were feeling the pressure from Ryker and his gang and were ready to pull up stakes.  This site is effectively inaccessible to the public. It is located on the National Elk Refuge which requires all visitors to stay ON THE ROADS. It was located along upper Flat Creek. Additionally, the area is behind a fenced off area along the creek.

Shane CabinAfter filming the “Saddles and Harnesses” building was moved to a location at the base of Snow King Mountain, than later to a home at the JH Historical Society research offices on Mercill Ave. I’ve driven by them hundreds of times and not paid much attention.

Shane Cabin PlaqueThe Shane Cabin Plaque: The plaque is mounted to the front of the cabin. It indicates the cabin was built in 1951.  (Click either of these two thumbnails to see the larger)

 

Current Lewis Cabin

Current Lewis Cabin Location: Coordinates: 43.4838°N 110.7643°W (Via Google Maps) (Click the map to view it much larger) 


 

This page contains the sites you can visit in GTNP and the JH area. There were other locations, like Schwabacher Landing, Teton Pass, and Upper Gros Ventre with characters passing through the scenes.  Some of them are mentioned on this page: “SHANE” — The Epic Western Movie Filmed in Jackson Hole.

Shane (1953) – Photo Gallery – IMDb

The Greatest Story of the West Ever Filmed!

This quote comes off one of the many lobby cards and posters created for this film. If you’d like to see a LOT more of them, pick up Walt Farmer’s CD.

750line

Other Links and Resources:

Legality of using Screen Grabs for a blog post?

Before making this post, I did a few web searches, questioning whether I could or should use screen grabs from the movie. As you can guess, I found all kinds of pages with comments like, “I do it all the time and I never got caught” to this one written by a law student specializing in intellectual rights.  Ask the Law Geek: Is publishing screenshots Fair Use? Yes, I know, I’d be better off asking a lawyer with a degree, but this is the best I can do for now. IF anyone with rights to the movie asks me to remove the images, I will do so immediately. I am relying on this parameter found on his page: The purpose and character of the use: Reproduction for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not copyright infringement. This probably covers most blogs and personal websites, but there are other factors to consider.”

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Comments (9)

  1. As always Mike, you give us a great story with important details. This time the details are about the past. Every thought about being a history teacher 🙂 Thanks for taking time to teach us about Jackson Hole.

  2. Lowell Schechter

    Hi Mike
    I was fascinated by your research pertaining to the movie Shane. Enjoyed looking at the photo locations and that you are still able to see some the remnants of the area where the movie was fimed. They could not have picked a better location than the Jackson Hole are with the Tetons as a backdrop . I am a movie buff and going on location even in the early 50’s was not easy, as most movies were done on large studio lots. And they had to bring tons of equipment to the location sites. Back then they were using these big Cameras called Mitchell Cameras and they also needed to light the scenes with these large lighting equipment

  3. Hi Lowell, They also had to deal with the clouds and weather in an attempt to keep scenes consistent.

  4. Chuck Vincent

    Hi Mike – Many years ago (1978) when I was a corporate pilot, I flew my first trip into Jackson Hole for 10 days and stayed wile the group hunted. It was in Oct I believe, and I spent quite a bit of time by myself with camera on horse back or a 4 wheel truck all over that beautiful area. I am envious my friend.

    Best of luck to you Mike, and thanks for all the wonderful sharing.

  5. Hi Chuck, You need to make another visit! It should be as pretty now as it was then. Thanks for the comments. MJ

  6. Richard Hanks

    Hi Mike,
    Met you last summer about this time photographing the bluebird alone the Gros Ventre. Just wanted to ask you about the shane town location. Looking at the Google search maps and your maps with the red eclipses of the town location, I see a scraped out area near the highway due west of the town location that I thought was probably the site of the town. Seemed like that would be a logical assumption. Do you know what that is?
    Love your Posts.
    Thanks
    Richard Hanks

  7. You can log onto Google Maps and zoom in tighter. I’d say it was part of an old ranch or home site. There appears to be a few roads going to it. The angle and location is wrong for it to be the town site. I have a map somewhere showing the old ranches, but didn’t see it on my first pass. MJ

  8. Richard Hanks

    Thanks and look forward to seeing you again next time I get there. Thanks for the great website.

  9. Wayne Grubbs

    Great shots, Mike! We were there in September 2015 to see movie locations from Shane and Spencer’s Mountain. I knew where the town was but I just didn’t know how to get to it. LOL Anyway, you do great work and I hope to get back up there again before I’m ready for the rocking chair.

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