Focus Ranch

Tara Feeding Bum Lambs
Staff Cooling Off
Presenting the Meal!
Fly Fishing Result

Experience a True Cattle & Guest Ranch In The Rockies!

Focus Ranch has remained a traditional cattle ranch since homesteaded in the 1890’s and continues to be privately owned and operated by the owners. We offer you a true ranch work experience with both guests and livestock! Proud member of the Dude Ranch Association

We are located on the western Colorado and south - central Wyoming border in a section of the Northern Rocky Mountains called the Sierra Madres.

About Focus Ranch

Focus Ranch is a traditional working cattle ranch that invites guests to share in the day-to-day operation of the ranch. It was homesteaded in the late 1890’s and became a dude ranch in 1938. It is family owned and operated.

National Forest lands (Medicine Bow) join the northern border of the ranch and is the area where our 1300 plus head of yearling cattle spend most of the summer. Our guests and employees enjoy riding both in Colorado and Wyoming.
In 2009, we placed a conservation easement on the ranch in order to preserve it as open space and protect it from development. 
The ranch elevation is approximately 7000 feet and the surrounding peaks soar to 10,000 feet. Guests and employees from all over the world join us every season for a unique, non-mainstream experience. Guest capacity: 22 but typically 14 or less is the target except for reunion weeks.

The Employee Experience

Our employees have a passion for learning and adding to their lifes' skills. No matter what the age there is always something to learn from the job or each other. The work is not always easy and some days are longer than others but we function as a team to get the jobs done. As owners and operators of the ranch, we have done all aspects of every job over the years and will never ask our employees to do anything unreasonable. We have high standards and seek to hire individuals with the same. At the end of the work day, we enjoy seeing the employees relax and perhaps get together for some fun or sit with the guests and visit. The atmosphere is a family setting and we like to share our home with those who like the remoteness of a cattle ranch tucked into the Rocky Mountains...where wildlife is abundant and people are few!

Ideal Candidate

Are you someone who looks for non-mainstream opportunities with meaningful impact? Here at Focus Ranch we are looking for individuals who will take the initiative to get the ball rolling on the job, can problem solve, lead or be a team player when needed. If you are hard working, enjoy people, have a good attitude while working and strive for doing a job well...then we would like to hear from you. Perhaps you are considering a career in agriculture, ranching or hospitality...we will do our best to give you additional support on the job to attain your goal. 

Room and Board

Housing is provided and is a condition of employment. Rooms are semi-private with generally 2 people per room. Limited private rooms available. Each bedroom has a private bath. Towels and bedding are provided. Laundry facilities are available in the employee building. No pets are allowed.

Employee Perks

All positions include a base salary, bonus, room and board. Most positions include 1.5 days off per week. Most positions include tips. The employee facility includes a staff common room with a TV (satellite), DVD player, high-speed wireless internet connection and laundry facilities. There is a land line phone for use by guests and staff. Cellular phones with some exceptions, do not work well on the ranch. The staff has access to all ranch activities.

Getting Here and Getting Around

Focus Ranch is in both Colorado and Wyoming. To find us on a map, look in the NW corner of Colorado and south central part of Wyoming. Slater, Colorado is our mailing address. We are 50 miles west of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and 30 miles east of Baggs, Wyoming on Colorado County Road 129. You need to arrange for your own transportation. We will provide transportation to and from Steamboat Springs upon arrival and departure. There is public transportation between the Denver Airport and Steamboat Springs, CO.

After arrival and during your stay, other employees and employers occasionally will provide transportation off the ranch. If possible, we recommend having a vehicle as this is a wonderful area to explore on days off.


For Fun

Most popular is the horseback riding. For non-riders, there is hiking, fishing, mountain biking (bring your own) swimming and pretty much anything you want to do that wide open spaces allow. Throughout the summer, employees enjoy exploring some of the national parks and local museums. There are also opportunities to attend rodeos, barbecues, and songfests. Every season is different, but evening soccer, ping pong, volleyball games are not uncommon. Town is 50 miles away making it important for employees to be content in nature and the outdoors rather than shopping and nightly entertainment in town. If you need the activities of city life, then you will not be happy here.

Our Jobs

Employees are hired into positions but the needs of a working ranch fluctuate day to day.  Thus, we are looking for individuals who are willing to be versatile and with a "do whatever is needed attitude." A team effort is sometimes needed and so it is important to work well with others. There are times when extra help is needed to complete tasks that are of priority. If you are someone who does not like to pitch-in whenever an extra hand is needed, then this is probably not the best place for you. Whenever extra hours are worked we do make-up the time over the course of the work period.

We value skills that individuals might have even if they are not required by the job description.

We do have dress standards and some restrictions on body piercing and tattoos. Applicants need to ask about these in advance to get clarification. Please refer to our website employment page for other pertinent employee information.

It is important to like nature, outdoors and recreation. A strong work ethic evidenced by an employment history with references is a plus.

Positions are:

  • Cook: high quality/family style, from scratch, 3 meals/day, need not be a chef or formally trained as we have hired family cooks, self-taught individuals, culinary students and those who have had cooking experience in various job settings.
  • Guest/Ranch Personnel: includes housekeeping, waitressing, kitchen work, gardening, child care, care of barnyard animals and if qualified and able- general ranch work and riding...this employee wears many hats; Please note: riding and cattle work are not required but offered if the employee want this experience.
  • Wrangler: skilled rider, horse sense, leadership qualities, safety awareness, people skills, cattle experience important and academic studies related to cattle, agriculture, ranching, animal science will be given special consideration - internship possible.

See below for more detailed job duties.

Individuals who seek to apply for one of the above positions and have advanced experience or education in wildlife, fly fishing, birding, mechanics or any other guest or ranch related skill are encouraged to highlight this. If hired, opportunities will be explored to incorporate these skills into the job. Often students can get academic credit for the work experience.  

Our season for the above positions runs approximately May 1st to October 15th but we are flexible as not all employees are needed for the entire season. A starting date in early May to an ending date in the latter part of August is acceptable for a few positions and is the minimal requirement for availability. The cook position and 1 wrangler position needs to cover most of the season. Occasionally we can hire a guest/ranch personnel employee to start in June. Whenever possible, we try to work with individuals to determine a time frame that will meet everybody’s needs.

Cook- Family Style

Slater, Colorado - on the border of Wyoming and Colorado

1. Prepares 3 meals per day for staff and guests

2. Meals are home-cooked with fresh breads, desserts, vegetables

3. Meals are served buffet style

4. Meal times are: 7:30 am, 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm

5. Menu and recipes are available as well as on site training for those who need some assistance

6. Guest personnel assist the cook

7. Manages kitchen and maintain Health Dept. standards

8. 1 ½ days off per week

9. Cook must be self motivated and highly organized as well as able to give direction to others.

10. Monthly salary, tips paid as they are accrued and bonus at the end of contract. Total enumeration depends on experience and is negotiable.

Guest Ranch Personnel

Slater, Colorado - on the border of Wyoming and Colorado

1. Overall responsibility for tending to the needs of the guests

2. Clean guests’ rooms daily, set tables, serve meals, wash dishes, laundry

3. Feed barnyard animals and involve guests in participating in this activity

4. Perform ranch maintenance, such as painting, repair work,

5. Outside work includes yard and garden maintenance

6. Occasional child care

7. If qualified to ride, will help with cattle work as needed and assist wrangler with horses and riders; occasionally help doctor livestock. Guest personnel as a rule ride the most in May, June and September but there are other times when their assistance is needed. Employees are also welcome to ride on their days off unless there is a shortage of horses. Riding is not a requirement and not everyone in this position wants to be involved with the cattle can be optional.

A typical day starts around 6:45 a.m. The structure of the day depends on the time of the season or how many guests are at the ranch. Early and late in the season (May and most of June; September) there are fewer guests so the work day is spent usually with cattle activities, grounds maintenance, spring cleaning and various ranch projects. Often the days are a combination of these activities. Usually there is some time off before you are due back to help prepare for dinner. After dinner dishes, you are off for the evening. If the week is busy with guests (mostly July and August), more time is given off in the afternoon as it takes longer to do dishes and evening chores.

Monthly Salary, tips as they are accrued, and bonus at the end of the committed work period; 1.5 days off/week 


Slater, Colorado - on the border of Wyoming and Colorado

1. Day starts before breakfast as you must have the horses wrangled, into the corral,

   grained & brushed before breakfast

2. Responsible for saddling horses and taking guests out on rides

3. Must teach guests how to ride if indicated.

4. Need to instruct guests how to move cattle from “point A to point B”

5. Assist with livestock management 

6. Assist with doctoring livestock

7. Maintain cleanliness of barn

8. Responsible for care of saddles, bridles etc

9. Keep daily log of activities

10. Additional assistance with cattle and training are provided when indicated but employee should have a solid foundation in cattle management, health, livestock needs, trailing cattle, ability to learn pastures in forest lands etc.

11. CPR and First Aid certification required

 Salary  based on experience, tips as they are accrued and bonus at the end of the contract period; 1.5 days off per week

How to Apply

Please complete an application available on our website, or you can email us and request it. Since we hire based on your application and the information given, please include anything that might distinguish you from other applicants. You are encouraged to enclose a personal note and to use this as a way of introducing yourself to us! It is optional but including your picture would be appreciated. We are also available for a personal interview if you are ever in this area.

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Our recruitment process goes quickly, so the sooner you apply, the better!


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