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Not just a 'Yellowstone' set: The Four Sixes Ranch is real — and a Texas legend

Unlike the Dutton family's sprawling Montana empire on the show, the Four Sixes is the real thing -- an operating ranch near Guthrie.

GUTHRIE, Texas — "Yellowstone" is set in the mountains of Montana, but the show's second home might be Texas.

Taylor Sheridan, the show's creator and lead writer, grew up near Cranfills Gap, and the "Yellowstone" prequel, "1883," was filmed in the Fort Worth Stockyards in September.

When several cast members of "Yellowstone" showed up at a cutting horse event Friday night in Fort Worth, they were right at home.

So it only makes sense that Texas, again, has found itself playing another role in the show.

One of the storylines this season involves a character named Jimmy -- played by Jefferson White, who talked with WFAA on Friday night -- being shipped out to the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas.

And unlike the Dutton family's sprawling Montana empire on the show, the Four Sixes is the real thing -- an operating ranch near Guthrie, about four hours west of Dallas.

And every Sunday night, when the latest episode of "Yellowstone" airs on Paramount, many fans of the show might be wondering: What is this place?

Let us help you out.

Is the Four Sixes Ranch a real place?

Yes, as real as it gets.

The Four Sixes covers a sprawling 260,000 acres across two locations: the headquarters near Guthrie, and the Dixon Creek Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, near Borger.

The ranch raises cattle and breeds quarter hoses, employing 50-100 workers depending on the season, according to the Four Sixes website.

How does Four Sixes compare to other Texas ranches? 

It's hard to get much bigger than 260,000 acres, and few ranches in Texas are.

The aptly-named King Ranch (also mentioned in this season's "Yellowstone") is the biggest in the state, at 825,000 acres. That's bigger than Rhode Island.

Most online counts put Four Sixes safely in the top 10 of Texas ranches. Four Sixes' acreage can't cover a state, but it's bigger than Dallas, with room to spare.

When did the Four Sixes Ranch begin? 

Capt. Samuel "Burk" Burnett founded the ranch in 1870, buying 100 head of cattle that had the "6666" brand, according to the ranch. The ranch still uses the "6666" brand on its livestock today.

Burnett began by leasing the land from Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, with whom he became friends, according to the ranch. In the early 1900s, Burnett began purchasing plots of land in the Guthrie and Dixon Creek areas, forming what would become the current Four Sixes.

Around that same time, in 1905, Burnett helped host a special visitor to the Texas ranch lands: President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Burnett died in 1922, but the ranch stayed in the family. In 1980, Burnett's great-granddaughter, Anne W. Marion, of Fort Worth, took control of the Four Sixes until her death in 2020.

How did the Four Sixes get its name?

The story relayed by the ranch is simple as that: Burnett named the land after the first brand he saw on his new cattle.

The legend, though acknowledged as myth, is more fun to believe.

The lore goes, as passed along in this 1998 piece from Texas Monthly, that Burnett won the ranch in a card game. His winning hand? Four sixes.

How much is the Four Sixes Ranch worth? 

A lot, that we know for sure. In fact, it might help to have a 10-year contract from the Texas Rangers if you're ever looking to buy it.

After Marion died in 2020, the ranch went on sale and was listed for more than $300 million.

Who owns the Four Sixes Ranch now? 

Yes, the "Yellowstone" ties are strong. 

Taylor Sheridan, the show's creator, led a group of investors that purchased the ranch this year, for an undisclosed amount. 

What's the future for 'Yellowstone' and Four Sixes? 

The ranch appears likely to stick around as a storyline in "Yellowstone" this season. And who knows, maybe the "1883" prequel - which will trace the Duttons' journey to Montana - will feature an early version of the Four Sixes.

But those are just sideshows to the big one: Paramount announced a new spinoff about the Four Sixes is in the works. 

A release date hasn't been announced, and, so far, we don't know much else.

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