Colorado Dude 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.

  • 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?

  • We encourage you to contact the ranches that interest you directly as soon as possible.  Request a brochure with contact and web information of all 27 of our ranches,
  • 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!)
  • 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: 2022

Sundance Trail Ranch

(Updated 3/14/2022)

Job Type:  Seasonal Hours Per Week:  40
Shift:  First Job Classification:  Full Time
Contract/1099:  No
Close Date:  11/30/2022 OJT Interest:  Not stated


Minimum Age:  18  Driver’s License:  None
Endorsements:  None Background Check:  Yes
Education:  None Drug Test:  Yes


Paid Holidays/Year:  Not stated Health Insurance Available:  No
Paid Vacation Days/Year:  Not stated Incentive/Profit Sharing:  No
Paid Sick Days/Year:  Not stated

Job Description

With assistance of assistant cook and 2 dishwashers, manages he preparation of 3 meals a day, plus cookies/snacks for 30-40 people (guests and staff). Maintain clean kitchen, menu planning, food inventory, and kitchen management. Kitchen is staff with a lead cook, assistant cook, and 2 dishwashers. All staff assist in meal service.

Full meal production, with baking skills (although most years the assisant cook is the pastry person). Sundance Trail Guest Ranch is near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado at 8000 feet. We border Roosevelt National Forest. Meals are served family style and we encourage all staff to eat with the guests.

Position comes with room and board, free use of laundry facilities, wifi and all ranch amenities. During your breaks you may go for a horseback ride, play disc golf, enjoy the hot tub, or hammocks to list a few amenities.

We eat in the dining room, in the back yard, and on the trail. We serve “hearty western fare family style,” which can include lots of vegetables and salads as well as meat and potatoes. Because Ellen and Dan are both RN’s we see many guests who have therapeutic diets or allergies.

The kitchen staff is a group of five people who have high energy and good humor. Psychosis is not an obstacle to working in the kitchen, although active drinking problems will get you sent on your way. Kitchen and housekeeping staff typically works forty-five hours per week over six days.

Summer Kitchen Staff responsibilities include:

Preparing hearty western meals for 20-25 hungry guests and 10 – 16 hungry staff (about 40 total).
We eat family style; in dining room, on front porch, at picnic tables, and on the trail.
Baking enormous amounts of desserts and cookies daily.
Preparing therapeutic and/or special diets (with management support) as needed.
Managing and maintains food and supplies inventories (shops for groceries – Sysco).
Regularly reviewing and assuring compliance with all Health Department Safety Standards and rules.
Maintaining a spotless clean kitchen, including washing dishes, pots, and pans.
Helping little kids get eggs from the hen-house.
Helping wranglers, maintenance persons, and managers do whatever needs to get done to provide guests with a safe and delightful ranch experience.
Telling endless jokes and humorous stories.

Apply by emailing .

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

(Updated 2/14/2022)

The Director of Catering & Events primary responsibility is to manage the operations of the Events Services Management Department & Team that plans, coordinates, and manages every aspect of the execution of group events from an operations standpoint once the Sales Team has contracted group events. They will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Events Services Management Department including assigning group events to an Events Services Manager to be planned down to the detail with the group contact or contacts from the point the group is contracted up until and through execution of the event with an emphasis on client and guest satisfaction and increased efficiencies and productivity working with the full Operations Team at the Ranch. They will work closely with the Sales Team, Food & Beverage Team, Group Lodging Coordinator, Reservations, Lodging, Grounds, Facilities, and Activities Teams to foster a cohesive and communicative working environment to create a seamless experience for group events contacts, third party planners, and participants according to the contracted event agreement that exceeds expectations from a customer experience perspective. Experience in banquets and catering facilitating successful high-end weddings and corporate group events at resort properties is required. Click here for more info:

Zapata Ranch

(Updated 2/7/2022)


Seasonal: March – October or May – October

This is an opportunity to join the Ranchlands team to help us provide the vacation of a lifetime to guests at the Zapata Ranch. Applicants must be lifelong riders with a passion for education, people, and the outdoors. A background or proven interest in ecology, geology, conservation, education, biology, or a related field is a bonus, but not required. As with all positions at Ranchlands, an outstanding can-do and solution-oriented attitude is of the utmost importance. No pets allowed.


Seasonal: March-October

Zapata Ranch is seeking a third chef to join our team for the 2022 guest season. The right candidate will ideally be a trained chef with experience in restaurants or culinary school, present a high standard of cleanliness, organization, and creativity, and be able to work independently and within the team. As with any role at Ranchlands, this person must be a joy to work with, unquestionably reliable, and ready to bring their best to contribute to a quickly growing guest program. A strong interest in locally and ranch grown produce and meats is a plus and open fire cooking. Housing on the ranch provided, and no pets allowed.

Majestic Dude Ranch

(Updated 9/30/21)

Summer Seasonal Employment – Multiple Positions Needed

Family owned dude ranch, with strong Christian values, seeking hardworking individuals to help make the guest experience exceptional. Positive go getters with a desire to put guest needs first. Genuine care and compassion for people and animals. Must be available for the entire season. Drug and alcohol free environment.

Date of Employment: 5/21/2022

Apply at:

Sylvan Dale Ranch
(Updated 9/30/21)

Maintenance Manager

The maintenance of buildings, vehicles, and grounds are critical to the success of a first class outfit! If you have experience in building trades, we welcome your application. Part time or full time positions available. Start immediately. Local applicants only.

Dates of Employment: Year round – starting now

Apply at:

Elk Mountain Ranch
(Updated 9/30/21)

Summer Seasonal Employment for 2022 – Multiple Positions

If you have a ready smile, are honest and truly willing to work hard, love the outdoors and enjoy working with people, we may have a very special Colorado employment opportunity for you! Elk Mountain Ranch is a first class guest ranch with off-the-beaten-path charm.

Dates of Employment: Mid May to Mid August and some until Mid September

Apply at: 

Black Mountain Ranch
(Updated 9/30/21)

Summer Seasonal Employment – Multiple positions needed

If you would like to apply for a position at Black Mountain Ranch please complete and submit the following online employment application. Feel free to include a photo and video to introduce yourself! We are a family owned and operated guest ranch located high in the Rockies between Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Employees are provided lodging (private rooms), meals (staff enjoy eating in the dining hall with our guests), as well as gratuities.

Dates of Employment: May – September

Apply at:


Rawah Guest Ranch
(Updated 9/30/21)

Summer Seasonal Employment – Multiple Positions Needed

The Rawah Guest Ranch team is dedicated, hardworking, enthusiastic, and takes pride in providing the highest quality service in the guest ranch industry to each of our visiting clients. If you have these qualities, dream of a season immersed in the spectacular Colorado wilderness, and want to spend your days sharing your passion for the great outdoors with others, we’d love to speak with you about joining our team. We’re looking for qualified, driven, and service-oriented individuals to staff the ranch from early May to early October.

Dates of Employment: 5/1/2022-10/15/2022

Apply at: