Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour in Branson, MO

5586 W. Hwy 76Branson, MO 65616
View on Map


This one-hour seasonal tour of The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead offers a fun family daytime experience in Branson. The experience lets guests enjoy a Jeep-drawn tram ride that tours Old Matt’s Cabin—featuring antiques like old clothing, furniture, photographs, and more—and a church relocated from Morgan County, ending with a behind-the-scenes look at The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Branson Travel Experts
  • Family Friendly, very information, fun and interesting
  • Jeep drawn tram takes you on a 70 minute tour of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead as well as a behind the scenes look at the Outdoor Drama.


from Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour
In 1896, a young Christian minister by the name of Harold Bell Wright
came to these Ozark Mountains for his health. While staying here
Wright fell in love with this area and the rugged spirit of the Ozark
pioneers. In 1907, he published a novel, “The Shepherd of the Hills”,
about the hardships, trials, and tribulations of these people. The story
captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation. The book was so
popular it was translated into seven languages and was the first
American novel to sell a million copies worldwide. People began
pouring into this area to meet the characters and see the beautiful
landscape Wright had so vividly described.

“The Shepherd of the Hills” novel was the beginning of the Branson
phenomena. And now you have an opportunity to visit the homestead
where the book was actually written. Enjoy a ride in an open-air jeep-drawn tram through the wooded 160-acre homestead. Your Ozark Native guide will take you through Old Matt’s Cabin where three of the
leading characters in the novel actually lived. This log cabin sets just as
it did 130 years ago, and it is on the National Register of Historical
Places. You will stop at the highest point in Southwest Missouri, where
Mr. Wright camped while writing the book. The view is so spectacular
that he named this hill Inspiration Point. It is now the home of the
famous Inspiration Tower, a 230-foot observation tower and also six
statues of characters out of the novel. Next, you will head down to the
location of Old Matt’s Saw Mill and Grist Mill, which is part of the
backdrop for the Legendary Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theater.
You will get a backstage look at how the book has so vividly been
brought to life for almost 60 years. It is the most performed outdoor
play in the world. And the tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to
Jennings’ Still, where a real hillbilly will give you a look at the lost art of
making MOONSHINE!! Lot’s of Ozark history, laughs and good, clean
family fun!!

Reserve Branson Customer Reviews

4 Reviews
Holly Larsen
Council Bluffs, IA
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Fun & informative tour"
June, 2018 NEW
Our tour guide was super friendly and very informative, I wish I could remember his name!
Read More
Tip: Go early when its warm out!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Paula Langton
Norborne, MO
7 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Growing and Awesome"
June, 2018 NEW
No one should go to Branson and not got to Shepard of the Hills. They have and are adding even more attractions to the property. This place is so fantastic. You can take the entire family and have a great day. If you have never read or even know about the book (Shepard of the Hills) read it or go learn all about it and then read it.
Read More
Tip: Awesome place. Great fun, history, and family time all the way around. LOVE it.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Cathy Buresh
Blair, WI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
June, 2018
Jacob, alias, Wash Gibbs, gave us a personal tour with all the "extras". We loved hearing the history of the Ozarks and highly recommend the tour and drama. Thank you Jacob!!!
Read More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Martin M.
Orwell, OH
7 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great Experience!"
February, 2015
A must for history lovers. Read the book "The Shepherd of the Hills" available everywhere in Branson.
Read More

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Marcene S
"Exquisitely enjoyable experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 18, 2018 NEW
I attended this drama over 30 years ago. I had heard that it had closed but was now back open. So I dragged a friend who goes to Silver Dollar City all the time but had never seen the shepherd drama. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. Loved the friendly and accommodating staff who helped find a seat that was comfortable for me since I have knee problems. Loved the tram that took us to the seating area. Loved the actors and actresses as well as the animals involved in the drama. Enjoyed the story and the way it was portrayed. I reread the book to familiarize myself with the story. I recommend that to anyone going to the drama because it is easier to understand some of the details of the show. GO, YOU will enjoy it.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
clifton, tn
"Interesting story of the history"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed July 18, 2018 NEW
My wife and family went to visit the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama. It was a good time together with family. When you arrive you will be parked and ride on a tram to pick up your tickets. The drama is long it is interesting sometimes a bit boring. There is an intermission or you can go and purchase photos that were taken of you. It is the story of a man who was the shepherd of the area who's was called dad. The seating was fairly comfortable there is refreshments and a bathroom that you can walk to. I've seen it once and will probably not need to see it again but it was an interesting story some parts were very dry. The actors portrayed did good jobs
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Dana V
"ATV Adventure Ride"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 18, 2018 NEW
Had a blast! Highly recommend if you like getting muddy/dirty. Great hills and trails. Johnny our tour guide was awesome. Good time and worth the money!
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Catherine K
"Local Cultural Artistic Drama"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed July 18, 2018 NEW
This was an extremely organized evening of entertainment. The actors could be heard clearly but seeing the play was difficult due to rows of tall people in front of us. Unfortunately you can only get "best available" when you purchase your tickets online. The pre-show was funny, and the intermission square dancing was quaint. The concession prices were good, but the line was long and there was only one window open. Perhaps selling things in the stands would be better? Overall, it was an enjoyable evening out in Branson and an opportunity to learn about Ozark history and culture.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Holly M
"Go Go Go its fabulous"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 16, 2018 NEW
You can go ATV single or with 4 people and its 1.5 hour of fun!! It cost us around $160 for the two of us. I also ziplinon the avengence 170 feet high zipliner. That was so great.....dont be afraid just do it!!!!
Read More

Frequently Asked Questions about Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 60 to 70 minutes long.

When are tours available?
Tours in April run every hour on the hour beginning at 12:00pm with the last tour at 4:00pm. Tours May thru October run every hour on the hour starting at 10:00am with the last tour departing at 5:00pm.