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Saddle Up for Your Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation.

The sense of discovery and freedom that existed in the Colorado Rocky Mountains centuries ago still lives on today.

Ranch Jobs

Thank you for your interest in working at one of our all-inclusive Colorado Dude & Guest Ranches!

The dude and guest ranch members of our Association collectively hire 800 to 1,000 employees each summer. Our staff members are an important part of the guest ranch experience. Ranch staff members provide exceptional guest services and Western hospitality that make our ranches some of the best in the West.

Listed below you will find positions that are typically available at each ranch:

  • Cooking and Kitchen Staff
  • Wait Staff, Housekeeping, and Maintenance
  • Horse Care and Wrangling
  • Babysitters, Kids Counselors, Teen Counselors
  • Office and Marketing positions

These ranches offer good jobs, good pay and great places to meet new people, not to mention a wonderful place to spend the summer. Our ranches typically do most of their hiring for summer employment December-March.

So What’s Next?

  1. We encourage you to contact the ranches that interest you directly as soon as possible.  To download a brochure with contact and web information of all 27 of our ranches, please CLICK HERE.
  2. Once you have narrowed down your search, the next step would be to contact the individual ranch and request an application. (Some ranches even have an application you can download online!)
  3. Each ranch has a slightly different application process. So be sure you have all the information necessary to apply with your ranch(s) of choice.

a. What kind of interview would the ranch prefer to do? Phone? In Person?
b. What information needs to be sent back to the ranch along with the application itself?
c. What are the ranches deadlines for seasonal hiring and be sure to ask when you can expect to hear back from them on their final decisions.

We wish you the best in your search for a ranch position that is just the right fit for you!

If you have any additional questions, please email the office at

Current Ranch Position Openings:  2015-2016


Sundance Trail Ranch (970)-224-1222

The Winter Dude Ranch caretaker/ Guest Ranch Wrangler is a nine month position (September through May) that usually takes a leadership position the next summer. We are hoping to find someone to take leadership in next summer’s ropes program. During the fall/winter/spring months the ranch is open as a Red Feather Lakes Pet Friendly Bed & Breakfast with daily horseback riding.Typically we have no more than 10-14 guests on Friday through Monday, and usually no guests Tuesday – Thursday. The pace is a bit slower most days, and then very, very busy on weekends and holidays, with B&B guests, Murder Mystery Guests, “Wild Women’s Week-ends,” Elopement Weddings, troops of scouts, you name it! There will be four people who run the ranch, Ellen, Dan, our Barn Manager Justin, and the Winter Ranch Caretaker/Wrangler. All four of us do everything needed: wrangling, housekeeping, maintenance, cooking, teaching scouts, stage managing Murder Mysteries, and yes, even conducting weddings! Be aware that life in the mountains is very quiet (boring) when you are living with two middle aged people and there is no TV! The Responsibilities include ALL of the responsibilities listed in all of the summer job descriptions:

  • Feeding and daily care of horses.
  • Exercising and training horses
  • Leading Guest Trail Rides; safety officer, story teller and teacher
  • Teaching beginner and intermediate riders
  • Housekeeping – beds, bathrooms, vacuuming, laundry (all the romantic stuff!). Be aware! Vacuuming at this altitude tends to generate HUGE amounts of testosterone in young healthy men, causing HUGE muscle development and the need to buy new, larger cowboy-ugly shirts. Healthy young cowgirls, on the other hand, just get brighter smiles (being smarter than cowboys, they know horse-feathers when they read them)!
  • Cooking – assisting with meal preparation, serving, busing, and washing dishes and pots & pans
  • Maintenance – fixing the long list of things that got broken the previous summer, plowing snow, fixing fence.
  • Telephone – answering phone, helping prospective guests with their questions and booking reservations (these skills will be taught to you)
  • We will be planning expansion of our top-ropes climbing program this year. If you have background and skills in top ropes, low ropes, challenge courses and via ferata experiences, we want to talk with you!

For more information, first read ALL of the information listed here, and then call Dan with your questions. Dude Ranch Job Requirements include:

  • Strong wrangling skills
  • Good teaching skills (lots of beginner riders)
  • Good telephone skills
  • Willingness to do lots of dishes and housekeeping
  • The ability to drive standard transmission vehicles (jeeps and trucks) is required.
  • Ability to enjoy folding laundry for hours while watching Netflix videos with two middle-aged people.
  • Physical requirements as listed in all other job descriptions (able to repeatedly and continuously lift & carry 85 pounds at least 300 feet at an altitude of 8,000 feet).




Zapata Ranch

Zapata ranch is seeking wranglers for the 2016 summer season (May - Through October)

Must have a life time of riding horses, English or Western (prior wrangler or ranch experience is not necessary).  It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that guests have the experience of a lifetime and therefore must have exceptional people skills, be able to make good, on the spot decisions, and handle multiple tasks at one time.  We are looking for individuals that have a background in, for example, Environmental Science, Biology, Equine Science, Agricultural / Food Systems Sustainability or proven interest in a related field. We’re looking for individuals who like to work hard and have fun. In your role you are required to teach ranch guests about horsemanship, nature, wildlife, conservation and responsible ranching practices of which we will teach you. Please submit a complete resume outlining all work and personal experiences, an essay describing what is important to you in living your life and why you want to work for Ranchlands to

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