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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:  2016


Tumbling River Ranch

Summer needs:

Head Wrangler: full-time/year around position. candidate must have extensive experience with horses, teaching riding skills, and great people skills. Management responsibilities include scheduling, directing and assigning tasks, and evaluating employees. You are the main liaison between the guests and the riding program. .  The candidate would also concentrate on herd health, wrangling staff, guests and all responsibilities corral related.  The responsibilities for the horses would include all aspects of feed, health, scheduling ferriers, and rotating pasture, assigning riders to horses, all that goes with keeping our herd healthy and happy.  Secondly, this person will train the new summer staff, daily managing of the staff and running a smooth corral operation.  On the guest side, the head wrangler will be speaking with guests daily, handling any guest riding issues, riding & teaching guests daily.   Job would also include organizing corral projects and spend any excess time working with green & troubled horses.  The job requires a highly organized, gregarious, and energetic individual.Head maintenance: This person will be responsible for all facilities (lots of plumbing, automotive, general “fix-it” skills needed), maintenance, some grilling, driving and all grounds.  This person will have two employees to manage.  * Would love to start this position soon* Staff manager/Owners right hand: full-time position.  Candidate needs to have great people skills, phone skills, must be very organized, a self-starter and look the western part! Job duties include: checking guests in, sending office mail, answering guest questions and providing any help to them, handing all social networking and marketing for the business, setting up and keeping inventory for ranch gift shop, and helping all staff departments run more smoothly. Yoga vendor: comes in and teaches yoga 2-3 times a week, or we would be happy to have a summer employee that is also a yoga instructor, however in the past it has been a vendor that comes in just to teach the classes. Email to apply.


Elk Mountain Ranch - Now accepting applications for the 2016 season.

If you have a ready smile, are honest and willing to work long hard hours, love the outdoors and enjoy working with people, we may have a very special dude ranch employment opportunity for you! Elk Mountain Ranch is a first class guest ranch with off-the-beaten-path charm. We expect our facilities to be kept spotlessly clean, meals to be excellently presented, activities to be led with safety and professionalism, and our guest services and relations to be outstanding. Our guests are not just customers, but members of our ranch family. We want our employees to work hard, have fun, enjoy the ranch and its facilities on their time off, take a staff raft trip and build relationships to last a lifetime. Applicants for employment at our Colorado dude ranch must be at least 18 years of age and willing to live on the ranch. Modest housing and meals are supplied as part of our employment package. Please expect to have roommates. No smoking or drug use is allowed. A neat, clean appearance is necessary. We search for staff who are mature self-starters, who have strong communication skills and are team players.  We are looking for employees who are available for employment from mid-May to the end of August. Some positions extend through the end of September. Tips are prorated among the staff based on the number of days worked. Average compensation is approximately $2000 per month plus room and board.

Open Positions: Maintenance/Sports/Utility, Assistant, Cook/Swing, Housekeeper/Wait staff/Dish Washer/Food Preparation, Wrangler, Children’s Counselor, Cook

Please see our employment pages at

Sundance Trail Ranch (Updated 12/12/15)

One of our winter staff is starting school and moving to part time. We have an immediate opening for another Winter Care Taker-Wrangler. We will be starting construction soon; handy- skills, construction skills, and chainsaw skills a BIG plus! All of the details about the position can be found at

Rawah Ranch

Come join our family at Rawah guest and Wilderness Ranch and help us provide the vacations of a lifetime for our guests. Your job will be both challenging and rewarding as you experience all Colorado ranch life has to offer. We are looking for hardworking, energetic people for the following positions.

Executive Chef – Supervising, coordinating, and directing the operation of all food and beverage at the ranch

Sioux Chef – To help the Chef and Pastry chef as needed

Pastry/Breakfast Chef – Bake all pastries and help with breakfast

Dishwasher – Take care of all dishes.

Server – For breakfast, lunch, appetizers and supper

Front Office Assistant – Help managers in front office, check in guest and help with any issues that guest may have.

Maintenance – Someone with plumbing, electrical, woodworking, mechanical and all around general ranch operations.

House Keeping – Clean all cabins and lodge and public areas

Wrangler – Take care of the horses, take guest for trail rides

Anyone with a current EMT certification would be greatly appreciated and compensated accordingly.All employees must have excellent customer service skills and work well in a team environment.Employees are paid salary plus tips, and room and board. Our season runs from the first of May through Mid-October.Rawah Ranch is a full service dude ranchoffering all sorts of activities from Horseback riding, Fly Fishing,River Rafting, and Hiking. We pride ourselves on a familyenvironment and consider our staff part of the family. Please contact or feel free to call at 970-402-8300 or 970-435-5715 Please visit us at for more on job descriptions.


Smith Fork Ranch (Updated 12-28-15)

Smith Fork Ranch provides luxurious guest accommodations in the rustic tradition, breathtaking views in every direction, highly acclaimed cuisine using our own organically grown vegetables, fruits, poultry and regional game, an award-winning wine cellar, outstanding fly fishing on miles of private waters, a stable of well-trained riding horses, expert guides for fishing, riding, hiking, sporting clays, mountain biking and other outdoor activities including a very active children's program. Our passion and mission is to preserve and nurture the authentic western lifestyle and experience, and to share it with guests at Smith Fork Ranch here in our magnificent corner of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

With a capacity of 26 guests per week and a staff of approximately 28, SFR employs energetic, hardworking, flexible individuals who understand the main goal is to give guests a wonderful and memorable vacation. Versatility and flexibility are important qualities in all SFR staff. We are looking for happy, motivated, charismatic individuals that have a love for the outdoors for the 2016 Season. Come call Smith Fork Ranch home for the summer and leave with memories, experiences and friends for a lifetime.

Open Postions:

  • Sous Chef
  • Baker/Kitchen Assistant
  • Prep Cook/ Dishwasher
  • Head of Dining, Bar & Events
  • Bartender/waitstaff
  • Waitstaff/server
  • Head of Housekeeping
  • Cabin host/housekeeper
  • Head Wrangler
  • Wrangler
  • Wrangler/outdoor guide
  • Outdoor activities mgr/head guide
  • Outdoor guide (fly fishing ++)
  • Lead kids counselor
  • Kids counselor
  • Ranch hand/maintenance
  • Farmer/gardener
  • Gardener/groundskeeper

Visit our website to learn more about us at Smith Fork Ranch and to complete an application at Please send all resumes and applications to


Elk River Guest Ranch

The Elk River Guest Ranch is currently hiring for summer 2016 positions of:

-Wrangler/Activities Coordinator

-Wrangler/Ranch Hand

-Housekeeping/Waitstaff/Activities Coordinator

-Housekeeping/Assistant to the Chef

We are seeking individuals who have the desire to serve others.  All of the above positions require a person who is friendly, loves to go out of his/her way to help others, has a good eye for others' needs, and can be flexible jumping in in many different areas around the ranch. Any of the wrangler positions require someone who has several years of previous horse experience (riding, training, competing, owning, and/or farrier work).  Preference for the Wrangler/Ranch Hand position is given to those with horseshoeing experience.Individuals who are serious about applying should send Bex and Scott an email at with a resume and cover letter explaining why you feel you would be a good fit.


Laramie River Ranch (Updated 1-6-16)

Now hiring for next summer: wranglers, guest services staff, kitchen team, children's counselor, naturalist. Laramie River Ranch has a typical occupancy of 25 guests. Our small size allows us to give each guest our personal attention as they ride, fish, and hike. We have high expectations for the quality of service our guests receive and therefore have high expectations of our staff. Employment at Laramie River is lots of fun as crew participate in ranch activities and explore the surrounding Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado. Learn more & download an application at


Sylvan Dale Ranch (Updated 1-17-16)

Sylvan Dale Ranch is seeking an experienced horse professional who is passionate about sharing the western life style with guests.  This is a year-round hands-on managment position.  Herd health, riding program, western riding instruction, small boarding operation, irrigation and hay, fencing, trail maintenance, management of seasonal wrangler crew. Flexibility and multi-tasking are keys to success.Compensation package  =  salary + housing + tips Send resume to: Sylvan Dale Ranch, 2939 NCR 31 D, Loveland, Colorado  80537

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