Laramie River Dude Ranch - Dude Ranch Jobs


The Laramie River Ranch is a small dude ranch with a typical occupancy of 25 guests. Our size allows us to give each guest our personal attention as they ride horses, fish, and participate in our naturalist hikes. This personal attention sets us apart from other types of vacations. It's not uncommon for guests to tell us that this was the best vacation they have ever had. It will be your goal to make that the case for every guest.

Taking some time off.

We have high standards for the quality of service our guests receive. Consequently, we have equally high expectations for performance of our employees. First and foremost we are looking for employees that are warm, outgoing, and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. They must not be afraid of long hours and hard work. All positions require employees that are organized, willing to take initiative and pay close attention to detail. Employees must get along well with others, work well as part of a team, and have a "can do" attitude.

Employment at a guest ranch is also a lot of fun. You'll meet lots of interesting people and on your time off you are welcome to join in ranch activities including horseback riding, fishing, and our naturalist hikes. You'll have the opportunity to explore the Rockies, camp, go white water rafting, visit Rocky Mountain National Park, or climb one of Colorado’s peaks.


Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age on the day they begin work.

All applicants are required to complete form Federal Form I-9 to verify their eligibility to work in the United States before they start work. A variety of identification can be used to meet the requirements of the form including a valid driver's license and an original social security card. A valid passport is an acceptable alternative. Foreign students can complete this form with their valid passport, visa, and their original U.S. Social Security card.

Practicing our first aid.

We will consider non-citizens who possess strong English language skills as well as all appropriate US government work authorizations from an accredited work abroad program.

Wranglers, naturalist, and kids' counselor positions are required to have Adult & Infant CPR and First Aid certification completed when they arrive for work. The credentials must not expire until after your last planned day of work.

Pay & Hours:

Pay rates will be established when a job offer is made. We pay you an hourly wage based on the hours you work. Overtime is paid at a rate of 1.5 times base pay for each hour over twelve hours in a day or forty hours in a week. Employees are paid biweekly. See job descriptions below for our estimate of the hours associated with each position.

Housing and Meals:

Breakfast to order!

We have simple bunkhouse style accommodations. Bathrooms and showers are in our nearby lodge. You will have as many as four roommates. Crew are expected to keep their living area picked up and clean. Employees are not allowed to have overnight guests stay in the employee housing. No pets are allowed. Bed linens, pillows, and towels are provided. Washers and dryers are shared by housekeeping, guests, and staff. Hours of operation will be posted.

Meals are served family style. Crew breakfast is served a half-hour before the guests eat. Crew eat lunch and dinner with guests which is a great opportunity for socialization. Waitstaff and kitchen team eat after regular meals and will not be able to eat meals with guests except on their day off.


Make friends.

The ambiance at the Laramie River Ranch is western. We expect our employees to come prepared to dress in that style and maintain a neat and clean appearance at all times. Tee shirts, shorts, and baseball caps are not allowed. Kitchen staff may wear professional kitchen clothing. Aprons must be removed before leaving the kitchen and interacting with guests. Employees wear Oxford or western style shirts that button down the front, preferably long-sleeved. All shirts must be in good condition, be long enough to be tucked in, be worn tucked in, and must be clean, ironed and neat. Western style jeans are appropriate attire and are required when riding. Jeans that are overly baggy, bell-bottomed, tattered or torn will not be allowed. Allowable footwear includes riding boots, hiking boots, and sneakers in good condition, no open toed shoes. Boots with a heel and smooth sole are required for riding. Employees with long hair must keep it restrained while on duty so that it does not fall forward. Those arriving with extreme hair color and/or style will be asked to make modifications. Jewelry, perfume and make-up worn on duty must be conservative. Male employees are expected to be shaven when arriving to work each day. A beard or mustache must be neatly trimmed and if you have not arrived with one, you will not grow one during the season. Employees will be expected to follow this dress code any time they are in the presence of guests whether or not they are on the clock.

Ranch Life:

Taking some time off.

After a hard day of work, you’ll find yourself hanging out with the rest of the crew. Past crews have played volleyball, softball, and hiked or fished. Some set up regular card games, Pictionary competitions, and other board game tournaments. There are opportunities to attend Laramie Jubilee Days rodeo events, Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeos and concerts by top performers, and to white water river raft.

There is a small cabin among our crew accommodations that has been set up as a place to hang out and socialize. There is a small fridge. The cabin has a TV and DVD player. No cable or satellite TV is available on the ranch. Life on the ranch is a relatively “unplugged” existence.

Mail & Phones & Internet:

Our postal delivery takes place only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Employees pick up mail from the ranch store after work or while on break.

There is no cell service in our valley so your cell phones won't be of much use. Regular phone service is provided using microwave towers. During the day we are limited to one telephone line for guests and staff. A second line becomes available during the evening. Outgoing long distance calls can be placed using calling cards, by calling collect, or by calling toll-free numbers. Discounted calling cards are available in our ranch store. Incoming calls on the staff line are taken by an answering machine and delivered to staff with their postal mail.

A WIFI network is available on the ranch. Internet service is provided via satellite, so bandwidth and total traffic are very limited. Unfortunately, this means that streaming radio, video, and streamed TV are not supported. We do not have computer facilities for the crew.


We are a remote ranch. Past employees have emphasized that it is advantageous to have your own transportation. If you do not have a vehicle, we will make arrangements to pick you up in Laramie when you arrive at the beginning of the summer and to drop you off in Laramie when you leave at the end of the season. We cannot pick you up in Denver and public transportation from Denver to Laramie is limited to an airport van service. During the summer you must find your own transportation if you are interested in going to town or visiting the surrounding area.

Drugs & Alcohol:

No smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco will be allowed while you are working. Cigarettes, vape pens, and chew containers must not be carried on your person while on the job. Smoking or chewing must take place in the crew cabin area, outside the buildings and not in the presence of guests. For employees 21 and older, alcohol use must be discreet and after work hours only. Illegal use of drugs or alcohol is not permitted. No “smoking breaks” are provided.

Job Descriptions for our summer positions :

Our ranch community is made up of the Burleigh family, one year round manager, and nineteen summer employees. In addition to the job descriptions below you will be asked to participate in other ranch duties. We may ask you to help plant a garden, fix a fence, or clean up around the crew cabins. We schedule all our employees for occasional square dancing Thursday nights. These activities are paid, of course, but they are not optional. It is all part of life in our ranch community.

Food Service Supervisor:

The Food Service Supervisor will train and supervise the kitchen team in the preparation, presentation, timely delivery and quality of all food served at the ranch. The Food Service Supervisor is also responsible for upholding all health code regulations including the maintenance of a clean kitchen, proper food handling techniques, cooling, and storage regimes. Additional responsibilities include proper food inventory management through efficient ordering and minimizing waste.

In the dining room the Food Service Supervisor will supervise the wait staff and is responsible for the set-up for meals, the various buffet services, dining room service, and special dietary needs of our guests.

A seven-day menu and recipes are provided by the ranch as a starting point. New recipes and significant menu changes are to be discussed with the owners before they are put into place. There is always room for improvement, we just ask that enhancements and new recipes are well documented for the future use of the ranch. You are welcome to call them your own and take them with you when you leave. Our guests frequently take them home too!

(This position is filled for 2019)

Kitchen Team:

Baking for our appreciative guests.

Our food service supervisor oversees the kitchen. He or she will provide training for all members of the kitchen team during the weeks before our guests arrive.

Five seasonal members of the kitchen team are responsible for the preparation, presentation, and timely delivery of three meals per day including cookouts, baked goods, and daily appetizers before dinner. The team is responsible for setting up tables, the maintenance of a clean work space, cleaning dishes, pots and pans, proper food handling, and storage regimes. Other miscellaneous duties include putting away food deliveries and the cleaning of coolers and floors.

A seven-day menu and recipes are provided by the ranch as a starting point. New recipes and significant menu changes are to be discussed with the food service supervisor before they are put into place. There is always room for improvement, we just ask that enhancements and new recipes are well documented for the future use of the ranch. You are welcome to call them your own and take them with you when you leave. Our guests frequently take them home too!

Kitchen crew need to start work Monday, May 27th, 2019. Two positions end September 6th, while the remaining three positions run through September 13th, 2019.

Kitchen staff typically work forty to fifty-five hours per week over six days.


What a better way to spend the day than on the back or a horse.

We get guests from around the world with lots of different levels of riding experience. Our goal is to provide them with a safe, enjoyable, and educational horseback riding experience.

We are looking for motivated, observant, and friendly people. Safety is the first priority, but wranglers do not just ride along for safety. They are there to give instruction and to act as tour guides. Guests like to talk about riding, the ranch, wildlife, and the personal histories of the wranglers. It’s your job to interact with guests to make each ride safe, educational, and fun.

Wranglers round-up horses each morning, groom, saddle, guide guests on trail rides, give guests instruction in basic horsemanship, perform barn and tack maintenance, trail maintenance, fencing, and general ranch chores. Wranglers will be trained in natural horsemanship methods.

Wranglers need to start Monday, May 27th, 2019. Two positions run through September 5th, 2019 and four run through September 13th, 2019. A wrangler’s typical week will be forty-five to sixty hours over six days.

Guest Services:

A team of five guest services crew members share responsibility for waiting tables, cleaning guest rooms, and cleaning our public spaces.

Wait duties include set-up, waiting, and clearing tables for three meals a day. Breakfasts are served to order, so there is some order taking. Most lunches and dinners are served family style so the process is more like bringing out a Thanksgiving dinner than working in a restaurant. There is a lot of interaction with the guests during meals which makes this part of the job fun.

Old time photo.

Morning housekeeping duties between breakfast and lunch involve cleaning up the guests’ rooms - making beds, cleaning bathroom sinks, toilets, tubs and showers, and sweeping the floor. After lunch has been cleared, public spaces cleaning includes sweeping floors, cleaning windows of kid’s cookie fingerprints, dusting, and general tidying up of our living rooms, office, and porches in the lodge. Mopping of floors, cleaning outside windows, constructing fires in the fireplace and other duties also take place during the week as needed.

When we’re all caught up on our serving and cleaning duties there are tasks around the ranch that you will participate in with other crew members. For example, in the spring we prepare the gardens in and around the ranch and return occasionally to weed.

All guest services positions start June 6th, 2019. We need two people to work through September 6th, 2019 and three to work through September 13th, 2019. The guest services staff typically works forty to fifty-five hours over six days.


Our naturalist is a teacher, a guide, and a booster for the ecosystem of our beautiful valley.

Our naturalist coordinates activities for both adults and kids - including hikes and nature walks, birding, hunting for wild flowers, orienteering, star-gazing with talks on the myths behind the constellations, evening presentations, and other games and projects.

We have a well-developed program which you will be asked to learn. We welcome suggestions for new activities or improvements to our current program. Some activities will be focused on children so you must have a high level of energy and enjoy working with kids.

The naturalist often has some free time when no activities are scheduled or guests choose not to go out on hikes. During these periods you will be responsible for mowing lawns, weeding gardens, watering, bird feeders, stocking the wood pile, grounds work and maintenance projects. You may also be called upon to help out in other positions as necessary.

We need our naturalist to start work May 27th, 2019 and work through August 18th, 2019. If you can work into September let us know. The typical week is forty to fifty hours over six days.

Office Person:

The office person is the first point of contact for guests arriving at the ranch and for perspective guests who are calling or emailing to get information. This position requires a friendly and outgoing attitude, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and someone who is well organized.

Climbing around on Crazy Mountain.

Responsibilities include greeting guests when they arrive, giving them a tour and showing them to their accommodations, answering questions for them during their stay, and checking them out upon their departure. The office person is also responsible for answering phones and emails, taking reservations, mailing out ranch brochures, taking care of the ranch store, and basic computer work.

The office employee will also assist others in the performance of their jobs including cleaning the office and living room, watering trees and gardens around the lodge, and occasional babysitting.

The office person needs to start work by May 27th, 2019 and work through September 6th, 2019. The typical week is forty to fifty hours hours over six days.

Children's Counselor:

Happy campers.

The children's counselor is responsible for supervision and entertainment of our younger guests. Kids under the age of seven are not old enough to participate in our riding program or to attend our naturalist activities unaccompanied. We've developed a list of age-appropriate activities to draw from including pony rides, attending naturalist activities with your young guests, hikes, outdoor and indoor games and crafts, swimming, etc. The children's counselor supervises activities for older kids as well such as tubing down the river, tug-of-war, game night, and taking old-time photos for all of our guests.

The children’s counselor often has time when no activities are scheduled with kids. It’s common to have weeks where we don't have any young people to supervise. During these periods you, along with the naturalist, will be responsible for mowing lawns, weeding gardens, daily watering, filling bird feeders, stocking the wood pile, general grounds work and maintenance projects. You may also be called upon to pick up guests from the airport or help out in other positions as necessary.

Experience with and enthusiasm for kids is required for this position! We need a candidate who can work June 6th through August 17th, 2019. The typical week is forty to fifty hours over six days.

Summer Season Applications:

You can apply online right now, if you like. We will follow-up and make an appointment to speak with you by phone.

Or, download our standard application to complete in your word processor or by hand. Your browser should give you the option to "save" the file. We will read your application and then give you a call.

Summer Application (PDF format) - Most compatible format for printing from your browser. Unfortunately, this format does not allow you to edit the form and return it electronically.

Summer Application (Microsoft Word format) - Best option if you plan to fill it out on your computer and return it by email.

If you are unable to download or print our application, drop us an email and we will send one to you. Please specify whether you prefer email or snail mail.

Other Options :

Some of our neighbors also have jobs for the summer :

Rose Valley Ranch

The Rose Valley Ranch is currently hiring. In addition to ranch positions, they also need people to clean during the summer. Flexibility is very important. Housing is provided. You'll need to provide your own transportation. Candidates need to be able to start June 4th and work until the end of August. Please call Todd at (970)435-5700.

Diamond Tail Ranch

If you think a job on a bison ranch sounds like fun our neighbors could use some help! The Diamond Tail Ranch is looking for ranch hands to help with irrigation of hay meadows and general ranch work. Experience driving a tractor is a plus. Contact Scott Butcher at You can also learn more about the Diamond Tail at their web site