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Dude Ranch Employment Opportunities

Explore Dude Ranch Employment Opportunities



Office/Guest Services


All-Around Seasonal Staff



Location: Mountain Sky Guest Ranch – Montana

Description of Duties:

  • Creating an exceptional guest experience
  • Managing our crew of wranglers with respect and work to set them up for success in everything they do.
  • Maintaining a high standard of care for the physical and mental well-being of our 200 ranch horses.

Type of work: Year Round

Position Start Date:

Our guest season runs from May-October but this role will be year round .

How To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to

Availability Notes:  

Where to find more information?


Mountain Sky is a 94-year-old luxury guest ranch located in the heart of southwest Montana’s Paradise Valley. We boast the feel of a remote ranch (sit on 17,000 private acres and are up against hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest), but we also have a school bus stop on the ranch and are only 10 minutes from the nearest small town and an hour away from Bozeman.

Our horse program is not that of a typical dude ranch- our guests range from first time riders to professional horse trainers, and we have a heavy instruction component on all of our rides. We have a nice (and always improving) string of horses, and work hard to help our guests be successful whether they are taking an arena lesson or helping our cowboy crew gather cows.

We are open to guests May through October but are able to keep half of our wrangle team on year-round in horse training positions. We have a beautiful indoor arena to facilitate the development of our guest horses in the off-season.

Developing our employees is a priority- you will have the opportunity to learn from veterinarians, experienced clinicians, and leadership experts.

Location:  Bar W Guest Ranch – Montana

Description of Duties:  

Reports To: Equine Director
Pay Range: $20-$26

General Responsibilities: Responsible in assisting the Equine Director in the oversight of the Bar W guest package horse program and Public Trail Rides. This individual will help create a culture of hospitality that goes above and beyond for our guests.

Responsibilities Include:

• Lead, manage and hold accountable the members of your team.
• In charge of the schedule and payroll approval for wrangler staff.
• Assist in the hiring, termination, and performance evaluation of your team.
• Assist the Equine Director to develop riding programs and then ensure proper implementation of the programs with your staff.
• Assist the Equine and Program Directors in creating weekly schedules for the guests.
• Create or Edit Equine SOP’s and oversee the execution of these practices
• Keep safety at the forefront of horse related policies and guidelines.
• Daily implementation of care and feeding of all ranch animals and livestock per the Equine Directors instruction.
• Connect with guests to ensure they are getting the most out of their riding experience.
• Inform the Equine Director on needed feed.
• Inform the Equine Director of issues with horses and tack.
• Inform the Equine Director if livestock needs veterinary, dental, farrier services.
• Schedule wranglers to assist Equine Director with dragging the arena, moving hay, etc.
• Handle the logistics for guest package off site equine activities (single day cattle drives, full day rides, etc.).
• Follow the process and procedure for any horse, guest, or staff incidents.
• Assign each guest a horse from the pool of horses available from the Equine Director.
• Be available to take rides out if needed.
• Ensure fencing is in good condition.

Personal requirements
• Good people and communication skills.
• Hook up trucks, inspect truck and trailer, and drive a truck and trailer.
• Basic computer skills – Excel, Word
• Maintain a presentable western cowhand image around guests.
• Have a First Aid and CPR certification prior to arrival.
• Be a confident rider and comfortable around horses. Have working knowledge of horses, tack, and ranch work.
• Be a self-starter and team player who can lead by example and capable of providing clear direction to wranglers, staff, and guests.
• Live by the Bar W core values.
• Be a Team Player (Humble, Hungry, and Smart)

Type of work: Year Round

How To Apply:Visit


Food & Beverage

Location: Elkhorn Ranch – Arizona

Description of Duties: 

The breakfast cook / baker prepares short-order breakfast for all ranch guests and crew, bakes fresh breakfast bread and cookies daily, preps salads for lunch and covers the chef’s day off for all three meals.  It can also include baking for supper dessert or aspects of other meals, with details to be determined in collaboration with the Ranch Chef.

Type of work: Seasonal
Dates: October 9, 2023 – April 30, 2024

Availability Notes:

How to Apply:

More Information:


Location: Sundance Trail Guest Ranch – Colorado

Description of Duties: 

Our housekeepers help keep the ranch clean, and tidy. However they jump around to a lot of other duties as well – which can be lots of fun.  They also wash dishes, assist in the kitchen, lead hikes, sometimes guide rock-climbing, or take folks to the rifle range. It depends on the skills/interest of the individual.

Type of work: Seasonal
Dates: June 18, 2023 – September 30, 2023

How to apply:

More Information:

Availability Notes: Position includes housing, tips. Could extend to October 30 if mutually agreeable.

Location: Sundance Trail Guest Ranch – Colorado

Description of Duties: 

As head/lead cook you will be responsible for feeding up to 24 ranch guest and  10 staff, 3 meals a day. You will have an assistant cook to help you execute all three meals or you can delegate some meals to the assistant. Often the assistant cook will cover breakfast and some prep and baking for other meals. However we like to allow the head cook to decide this division of duties. Usually the work takes about 40 hours spread over 6 days.

Type of work: Seasonal
Dates: June 18, 2023 – October 30, 3023 (ideal but flexible)

How to Apply: Resumes may be sent by email to and our application is online at

More Information:

Availability NotesSeasonal position available now, includes housing.

Location: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch – Colorado

Description of Duties:

Outstanding Line Cook wanted for beautiful guest ranch in the Loveland foothills. Must be motivated and able to multi-task. Minimum 2 years cooking in a professional kitchen. This is an amazing opportunity for the right person, in a jaw-dropping setting with a great team!

Type of work: Seasonal or Year Round
Dates: April 2023 through November 2023
How To Apply:

Where to find more information?: Call the ranch at 970.667.3915

Location: Rankin Ranch – California

Description of Duties:

Cook Responsibilities and Qualifications


  • Preparing meals for up to 60 people. This includes cooking meats (BBQ and oven), casseroles, making gravy and sauces, preparing side dishes (vegetables, rice, etc.), baking breads and desserts.
  • Preparing ingredients for future meals.
  • Assisting other kitchen team members with maintaining a clean workspace.
  • Serving guests.
  • Following all health and safety guidelines


  • Kitchen experience with a desire to be a cook
  • Familiarity with kitchen equipment and utensils
  • Desire to work in a fast pace kitchen environment
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Willingness to work on a team
  • Ability to listen and communicate effectively
  • Ability to be on your feet for long periods of time and lift heavy items
  • Current Serve Safe Food Handlers Certification

Type of work: Seasonal
Dates: early March to late October
How to Apply: Please email your resume to and request an application.
More Information:


Rankin Ranch is located in central California at the southern end of the Sierra Nevadas. We have been a guest ranch for over 50 years. Our staff of 20 to 30 employees is essential to helping create magical memories for our guest. Our kitchen team prepares meals for guests and ranch staff feeding up to 60 people three meals each day. This team is comprised of a cook, prep cook, waiter/server, and dishwasher. All of our kitchen team enjoys interaction with our guest when serving meals. Customer service is a top priority for our team.

We pride ourselves on team work and upon your arrival will embrace you with extensive training and support. Kitchen experience, hospitality minded, and a good communicator are key characteristics for this position. Having a strong interest in continuing the tradition of preparing excellent meals for our guest and ranch family is a must. Our guest return rate is 60%+ and they love coming back to their favorite ranch dishes each year along with a few new recipes to keep things exciting. We pride ourselves on hiring individuals who love their job and work environment.  We hope you will join our team!


  • Starting wage…Hourly wage $15.50 (overtime $23.25/hr)
  • Tips – Guests contribute to a tip fund which is divided between all ranch staff. This usually equates to several more dollars per hour.
  • Meals provided during work shift.
  • Limited housing available for out of area staff.
  • Space available for RV, motor home, or other living quarters with hookups.

Other Considerations

  • This position would begin in early March 2023. We are a seasonal business that is open from early March to late October annually.

We are willing to consider husband/wife teams. We have available positions in housekeeping, groundskeeping, wrangling, and on our kitchen team.



Activities Guide


Grounds & Maintenance


Have your information sent to ranches actively seeking employees!

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY

Each year our 90+ member ranches offer a variety of dude ranch employment opportunities. They hire many seasonal employees, and some year-round employees, for such positions as wranglers, cooks, waitstaff, housekeepers, maintenance workers, children’s counselors, office workers, and more!

Most seasonal employees are hired by the Southern ranches for the months of September through May and by the Northern ranches for the months of May through October. Many Northern ranches have last-minute openings during the months of May and June.

The compensation for each position is at each ranch’s discretion and will be discussed prior to hiring. Jobs on dude ranches typically involve hard work and long hours as well as participation in evening guest activities such as line dances, hayrides, and staff talent shows. Good people skills and an ability to live and work well with others are required. The more flexible you are in the type of position you would like, the more likely you are to be successful.

Recommendation for Dude Ranch Employment Opportunities

Non-U.S. Citizens:

Employment opportunities on ranches for non-U.S. citizens can be extremely limited. Individuals must contact the ranches individually to see if they are willing to hire non-U.S. citizens. Individuals must also have a work permit for the U.S.A. Please contact the U.S. Embassy for information on work permits. The Dude Ranchers’ Association is not able to help in obtaining work permits for those looking for dude ranch employment opportunities.

Student Internships:

U.S. students often contact the Association seeking internship positions. The Dude Ranchers’ Association has no formal internship program but a number of our member ranchers have been willing to negotiate with students for internship positions as a part of their seasonal employment. Students interested in such positions may utilize the opportunities listed below and are encouraged to research DRA member ranches and reach out to them directly about internship opportunities.

Options for DRA Assistance in Seeking Dude Ranch Employment

To assist the many students and others seeking employment, the Association is offering the following services:

  1. Upon request, we will send the Dude Ranchers’ Association Directory. All 90+ member ranches are listed, along with their contact information. Interested individuals may contact each ranch themselves.
  2. The Dude Rancher’s Association also publishes a newsletter that is sent directly to all member ranches. For a US$10 fee, you may place an employment wanted ad in one issue. Many ranchers refer to the ads published in the newsletter when hiring. There are no guarantees, but it is a good, inexpensive way to contact all member ranchers at the same time.

Send us your name, address, phone number, dates of availability, type of position(s) sought, and 2-3 sentences describing your experience or qualifications along with the US$10 fee to:

The Dude Ranchers’ Association Newsletter
P.O. Box 2307
Cody, WY 82414

Payment must be received before the ad will appear.

Download the Advertising Rates Form to place an employment ad.