Skip to main content

The story of Little House on the Prairie may take place in the Midwest United States, but the show that aired from 1974 to 1983 on NBC was filmed in Simi Valley, California. If you ever want to visit the town that the beloved show was filmed in, here’s the best time to go. 

Karen Grassle and Michael Landon standing in a field filming 'Little House on the Prairie.'
Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

‘Little House on the Prairie’ was filmed at the Big Sky Movie Ranch in Simi Valley, California 

Though Little House on the Prairie was set in Minnesota, the show was filmed in a town called Simi Valley in California. Specifically, the Little House cast and crew filmed at Big Sky Movie Ranch. 

According to the website, “Big Sky Movie Ranch is a 7,000 plus acre Ranch all within the 30 mile zone. This Southern California preeminent Movie Ranch provides a variety of backgrounds and locations easily accessible for filming. These locations include old ranch house sets, giant oak trees, ponds, grass meadows, valleys, rocky outcroppings, dirt trails, and incredible views overlooking mountains, grassy hills, and more.”

Big Sky Movie Ranch has been the filming location for several shows and films through the years, including: Gunsmoke, Highway to Heaven, Men in Black, Transformers, Wild Bill, Twin Peaks, Jericho, and Coming to America. 

When to visit Simi Valley

If you’d like to visit Simi Valley, the town where Little House on the Prairie was filmed, there really isn’t a bad time to go. Simi Valley is a pretty temperate place. The summers can get hot into the 80s and the winters dip into the high 40s in the evenings and reach mid-60s during the day, according to But the best times to go are definitely the spring and fall. 

In the spring (March through May), Simi Valley boasts beautiful wildflower displays all throughout the area’s parks and nature reserves. It’s the perfect time for such outdoor activities as biking and hiking. During the day, the temperature is typically in the high 60s and low 70s. And the evenings cool off to high 40s and low 50s. 

The fall (Sept. through Nov.) is another great time to visit Simi Valley. With slightly cooler temperatures, there aren’t quite as many tourists but the weather is still nice enough to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The leaves are just beginning to change colors and there’s a crispness in the air that’s refreshing but not cold.  Temperatures typically range from high 70s during the day to mid-50s at night. 

The ‘Little House on the Prairie’ set was blown up and burned down


Why Melissa Gilbert Said Meeting Her ‘Scary-Looking’ Neighbor Was Like Something out of a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Episode

In Laura Ingalls actor Melissa Gilbert’s memoir, Prairie Tale, she writes about how Michael Landon blew up most of the Little House set after learning the show had been canceled. He wrote a plot point in the final Little House movie The Last Farewell that involved blowing up the town. He didn’t want the network to be able to reuse any of the show’s set. All that remained by the end of filming was the church. 

Eventually, a replica of the homestead was built. But in 2003, it was wiped out in a fire at the Big Sky Movie Ranch.

“It is a total, devastating loss,” Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Leigh Nixon said, according to the Ventura County Star. “That is one of the things Simi was known for.”

After the 2003 fire, yet another replica was set to be built. But that was scorched in a 2019 brush fire that started with a lightning strike. So, today, there’s pretty much nothing left of the Little House on the Prairie set. Just the rolling hills that housed the cast and crew for 10 years.