Apply Now for Summer Ranch Hand Jobs

A woman and her horse stand outside as the sun sets.
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Ever dreamed of life on the open range? With mountain snows melting, now is the time to apply for summer jobs on ranches. Ranches hire a whole host of staff members for their busy summer seasons to help guests have the Western experience of their dreams.

While they do hire “wranglers” to work with horses, most ranches hire a wide variety of other staff members as well, including guides to take guests on hikes and boat trips, housekeeping staff, cooks, children’s program directors, maintenance workers, servers, dishwashers and more.

Curious about how to land one of these cool summer jobs? Here’s what you need to know about the summer season which in 2022 generally runs from mid-June to mid-September.

What It’s Like to Work on a Ranch

Working on a ranch often means living in a fairly remote and isolated environment. If you love waking up to spectacular sunrises and spending your days with a tight crew of co-workers, you’ll probably love the ranch life.

Many ranches offer shared housing, which may include sharing bedrooms and bathrooms with co-workers. You should bring a personal vehicle, as most ranches are pretty far from public transit routes, and you’ll likely want to explore the surrounding areas during your time off.

Keep in mind that ranch work weeks are typically long, and oftentimes without a set schedule. The work will usually involve a team effort and you will be expected to try your hand at a number of different positions throughout your work week, filling in wherever your help is needed. Be sure to ask questions about housing, typical duties and work schedules before accepting a position.

The ranch lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a flexible team player and hard worker who wants a memorable summer experience, ranch life just might be for you. Below are a few ranches still looking to hire for this summer season.

Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch

Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch is hiring ranch hands to maintain the ranch as well as people to fill a number of other positions, including cooking, baking and running the children’s program. If you work at this ranch, you’ll pretty much do whatever needs to be done, including mopping, sweeping and other cleaning duties.

During your first year as an employee, you’ll typically make $1,450 per month. Low-cost room and board options are available, and the ranch offers end-of-season bonuses if you complete your full contract.

The ranch is on 900 acres and set near the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains. In your off time, you can have access to a number of perks, including hot springs, fishing, paddle-boats, hiking, biking, horseback rides and whitewater rafting trips.

Want to apply? Here’s where to find more information.

West Creek Ranch

West Creek Ranch is hiring for their summer season, which begins in early May and runs through early November. They’re looking for staff members who can commit to the entire season, and they’re currently hiring line cooks, guest services workers and wranglers on the horse program.

West Creek Ranch serves local and non-profit organizations. Its 6,600 acres of working ranch is in Emigrant, Montana, bordered by the Yellowstone River and Gallatin National Forest. The north entrance of Yellowstone National Park is just 22 miles away. .

Want to be a wrangler? Wranglers lead rides on trails on over 6,000 acres. They usually leads two or three two-hour rides a week. They might also teach fly-fishing and skeet-shooting. Expect to work some weekends and maybe pitch in with housekeeping duties too.

The ranch provides dormitory-style accommodations (most with single rooms) and three meals a day in addition to a salary. Here’s where to find more information on the positions and how to apply.

Kristen Pope is a freelance writer and editor in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.