Big Sky Ranch

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'Big Sky Ranch' is a movie ranch in Simi Valley, California, that is used for the filming of Western television series and motion pictures, among other projects. The Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board designated several of these buildings County Landmark #71 in July 1981.[1] The ranch is within the Los Angeles Studio Zone.[2]


The site is part of the 12,500-acre (5,058.57 ha) ranch purchased by the Patterson Ranch Co. in 1903 to raise grain, cattle, hogs and sheep. J. Paul Getty bought the ranch in the 1930s. After purchasing the ranch in 1981, Watt Enterprises named it Big Sky Ranch.[3] Many of the sets were destroyed by a wildfire in 2003.[4][5]


Television episodes and productions filmed there include: Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven, Father Murphy, Carnivàle, The Thorn Birds, The Yellow Rose, Tales from the Crypt and Westworld.[6][7][3] Other films shot here include Coming to America (1988) starring Eddie Murphy, Sidekicks (1974), The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991), Siringo (1996), and Annabelle: Creation (2017).[8]


  1. ^ Cultural Heritage Board. "Ventura County Landmark Map" Archived 2015-10-16 at the Wayback Machine County of Ventura Planning Division Accessed 2 May 2014
  2. ^ "Historic 'Little House' movie ranch burns". High Plains Journal. December 1, 2003. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  3. ^ a b BROOKS, NANCY RIVERA (1987-04-20). "Big Scene Change Planned for Famed Old Movie Ranch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  4. ^ Freeman, Roberta (October 31, 2003). "Stuff of dreams goes up in smoke at movie ranch". Ventura County Star. Archived from the original on 2018-06-19. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  5. ^ Smith, Darrel (May 1, 2019). "'Little House on the Prairie' set lost in Ventura County fire sparked by lightning". The Sacramento Bee. ISSN 0890-5738. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  6. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (May 4, 2018). "Why 'Westworld,' 'Veep' and More Series Are Filming Outside of L.A." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  7. ^ Smith, Leo (April 30, 1992)"FLICKS / FILM AND VIDEO FILE: Big Sky Ranch open house is due." Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ Schneider, Jerry L. (2015). Western Filming Locations Book 1. CP Entertainment Books. Pages 100-105. ISBN 9780692561348.

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Coordinates: 34°19′7″N 118°43′9″W / 34.31861°N 118.71917°W / 34.31861; -118.71917