Bar 717 Ranch

Bar 717 Ranch on a summer evening
2017 Bar 717 Ranch Counseling Staff
Campers in front of Gates Mountain
Campers in the garden with leek flowers
Campers on a backpacking trip in the Trinity Alps
Counselors and campers
Horsemanship staff 2016
Horses out on the range.
Sunset in the Trinity Alps
The gardens at Bar 717 Ranch
View of the Trinity mountains at sunset
Welcome to the Bar 717 Ranch!

Mountain Ranch Living at Northern California Summer Camp!

For over 80 years the Bar 717 Ranch has welcomed children and families to 450 acres in the beautiful mountains of Trinity County to experience nature, form deep friendships and have big fun. Life on the Ranch is rustic and unplugged: we spend our days swimming, hiking, riding, caring for animals, gardening, and making music and art.

450 acres of beautiful wilderness deep in the mountains of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California.

About Bar 717 Ranch

Our mission is to provide an outdoor camp experience where children have daily opportunities to have fun, develop friendships, challenge themselves, build character, learn new skills, gain a sense of community and make their own choices. Today, our Camp program continues to teach children about life on the Ranch. Campers choose freely from activities that range from horseback riding, gardening, animal care, maintenance and improvement projects, to horseback and backpack trips, ropes challenge course, overnight campouts, campfires, singing, and much more. We seek to create an environment where kids can have fun, learn skills, work with others and most of all gain a sense of satisfaction through accomplishment. Much of our program involves campers in the day-to-day work and chores on the Ranch. Although it is important to get these jobs done, we feel it is just as important to include children in that process of working and learning.

We believe that children thrive in an atmosphere where both individuality and community are nurtured with warm, seasoned leadership. At the Bar 717 Ranch, campers follow their hearts: to long mornings on horseback, silk-screening in the art room, backpacking in the Trinity Alps, navigating the ropes course. They’re also encouraged to try new activities (blacksmithing, anyone?), learn new skills (there are fences to mend and goats to milk), and assume new responsibilities as part of our large ranch family.

Nature is our constant companion. By taking time to appreciate the beauty of the land, by swimming in rivers and climbing mountains, by growing gardens, raising our own food and making compost, we foster in campers a deep understanding and appreciation of the environment. Camp life is as wholesome, practical and rewarding as it is just plain fun. We learn by doing, and we grow together. Campers often return home with a newfound sense of both self-reliance and deep community that endures for a lifetime.

The Employee Experience

The staff experience is best captured by our recent staff themselves. Here are a few of the things they had to say about working at Bar 717 Ranch:

"This summer was my first on the ranch, although I know now it will be far from my last. Arriving as a new counselor I was apprehensive at first, but from the moment I stepped foot on the beautiful property and took a deep breath of the fresh air, I knew I had arrived somewhere very special. As I got to know my new Bar 717 family of counselors and staff, I soon came to know the true meaning and feeling of community that so many have come to love and appreciate about the ranch."       
- Alyssa W.

"I spent the summer working with the younger boys, and I got to witness first-hand how camp changed them. I watched them become fine young men, who not only learned new skills like woodworking, but also became more conscientious, sensitive, and responsible. The independence we fostered in them while they were under our watch gave them room to develop themselves and mature, and the close, family-style way of living strengthened their character. These were kids who volunteered to clean up after themselves, who looked after each other if one of them was struggling, and who could hold a friendly conversation with any random person on camp."    - David S.

"The time spent away from the modern day demands of a fast-paced world gave me the chance to dig my hands down into the soil every day, share a living space with interesting people from around the world who I can now call my friends, listen to the sounds of the birds and crickets, and—quite literally—smell the roses. Bar 717 Ranch and the gardens within it hold a warm place in my heart, and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to spend my summer as part of such a lovely community."    - Hollyn H.

"The summer that I spent at the Bar 717 ranch has definitely been one of the best of my life. Having grown up in a fairly built-up area in the UK the scale and sheer beauty of the ranch took my breath away from day one, and that was just the start of it. As someone training for a career in education, the ranch changed my perspective on a lot of things. I saw children learn more through the enjoyment of the wonderful environment here than in many classrooms I have been in. It has certainly made a big impact on how I plan to approach my life as a teacher.  More than that, the experiences here changed my outlook on life in general and I have taken the attitude of pitching in and working together as a big family to make things the best they can be back to my home life."    - Alex K.

Ideal Candidate

We are eager to hire people who will thrive in a child-oriented, remote outdoor environment. Counselors are role models, leaders, organizers, substitute parents, motivators, big brothers or sisters and friends who, through their thoughts and actions, exemplify positive character and values.


  • Passion for working with youth
  • Quick learner with strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and collaborative attitude
  • General comfort with the outdoors
  • Completed at least 1 year of college (by start of Camp) or have equivalent work experience
  • Complete Lifeguard Training/CPR and Wilderness First Aid Training (courses are offered at camp prior to staff orientation)
  • Ability to be a resident at Camp from June 10th - August 19th, 2018

Room and Board

Room and board are included for counselors and support staff. Our Campers and staff live on a ‘platform’ that has a floor, back wall, and roof, but is otherwise open to the woods. Each platform has cots, shelves, a cold-water sink, and bathroom. Showers and hot water are near platforms. Meals are sit-down and served family style. The food is excellent, with much of what we eat grown or produced right here on the Ranch.

Support staff are not required to live on site, but housing in the area is limited.

Getting Here and Getting Around

We are located in a fairly remote area of Northern California. If you have a car, we recommend bringing it as we have staff parking areas and that enables you to travel freely on your time off. Initial transportation to the ranch can be arranged through carpooling or airport pickup.

For Fun

The Bar 717 Ranch is on 450 acres of beautiful wilderness within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest at an elevation of 2,000 feet. The days are warm, and nights are cool. We are located 7 miles west of Hayfork, California and are 7 miles from the small town of Hyampom. We are surrounded by forests of pine, fir, oak, and madrone. The ranch is comprised of mountains, meadows, pristine creeks, and pastureland. Trinity County offers beautiful hiking and wilderness experiences and we are just a few hours drive from the coast of Humboldt County.

How to Apply

Apply online via the links provided or contact Emma Bundy, Staff Director, at or 530-628-5992

Contact Info