Stehekin Valley Ranch

Stehekin Valley Ranch
Make new friends!
Take a load off...
Good food, good friends!
Kayaking on Lake Chelan
Scenic Trail Rides
Trail rides on Norwegian Fjord horses

Step out of the ordinary - Summer Jobs in North Cascades National Park

Join our family in providing a relaxed atmosphere in which to get away from the stress of the city. Stehekin Valley Ranch encourages family interaction, enjoyment of nature, and an unplugged calm that is rare in this age of technology. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, sparkling streams, and the amazing flora and fauna that go with them, this unique community guarantees memories to last a lifetime.

Stehekin is a remote community in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area- part of the North Cascades National Park. In other words, we are smack dab in the middle of the most breathtaking part of Washington State. No roads connect Stehekin to the rest of the world - most take a boat to get here. SVR sits on private land surrounded by National Park - the perfect base camp for grand adventures.

About Stehekin Valley Ranch

Located in the heart of the North Cascades Mountain Range, Stehekin Valley Ranch is the perfect place for folks to enjoy themselves, whether they wish to be active in the great outdoors, or just sit and relax, taking in the fantastic views. The Ranch is a full service, rustic guest ranch, which has been in operation since 1983 and is owned by Cliff and Kerry Courtney. It is located on 23 acres of private property which has been in the Courtney family for over 50 years.

We have many repeat customers who are more like “ranch family” than guests. If employed, you will become an extension of our family also. We respect our employees, and reward them with plenty of time off, above average housing, and friendship. In return, we expect them to take ownership of their assigned duties. With everyone pulling his/her own weight, the Ranch becomes a well-oiled machine designed for maximum satisfaction from all our guests.

Ideal Candidate

In this beautiful mountain setting the elements of your job will include both hard work and fun. If you have a ready smile, love the outdoors, are willing to work hard, and enjoy working with people this may be the place for you.

Candidates that are self-motivated and able to work both independently AND as part of a team will tend to do well here. ALL staff members will be in the public eye, and as such need to be comfortable working with the general public and helping our guests as needed. 

Room and Board

We are able to provide housing and meals for some employees at the ranch. After we interview and before we make an official job offer we will discuss housing needs and costs. Rest assured that whatever your situation we will help you find housing. Housing varies from single rooms, cabins or RV hookups for either your trailer or ours. All units are not fancy but you will have a room of your own. If you are a couple or family we will work with you to find adequate housing.

All staff housed on-site will have meals included due to the lack of kitchen facilities in staff housing units. Meals will be eaten in the main dining hall with the guests. Breakfast is served between 7-9am, and lunch is from 12-1pm. Staff is welcome to eat anytime in those time-frames for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is open to the general public by reservation, and is served from 5:30-7pm. We ask that staff wait until all of the guests have been served before eating for this meal.

Employee Perks

We value our staff at Stehekin Valley Ranch. We do our best to schedule 2 consecutive days off for all employees each week so that they may get out and enjoy the area. Guided activities such as horseback riding and kayak tours are available to our employees free of charge as space is available. Staff member also receive a discount on items from our gift shop.

All crew members receive free shift meals, and those with on-site housing eat all meals in our cookhouse. Past employees will tell you - the food is hands down the best perk out there. You will get the same food we serve our guests, with top quality organic ingredients made fresh daily!

We also strive to provide above average housing arrangements for our employees. All employees housed on-site will have their own room and bathroom.

Our goal is to reward valuable employees well and to have you come back year after year.

Getting Here and Getting Around

Getting here is half the fun! If hired, you will have a bit of logistical planning to do in order to get here. Since no roads connect Stehekin to the rest of the world, you will need to travel the 55 miles from Chelan to Stehekin on a boat. We will help you make arrangements for this, but you will be responsible for getting to the boat on time. If you miss the boat, you'll be waiting until the next day for the next one. We will pick you up from the boat dock and drive you the 9 miles to the Ranch upon arrival.

While Stehekin is not accessible by car, we do have around 25 miles of our own road. This is a blacktop road for 4.5 miles, and gravel and dirt the rest of its length. Ranch employees may ride the scheduled lower valley shuttle at no cost that runs 4 times daily.

You are also encouraged to bring a mountain bike with you. The trails are closed to biking but the Stehekin Valley Road is perfect for biking and a bike will give you some mobility.

It is also possible to ship a vehicle on the barge for a cost of around $125 each way (charged by square footage). Sometimes it is cheaper to ship a vehicle in than it is to pay parking on the other end. If you are considering barging a vehicle, be aware that the barge company will ask for round-trip payment up front.


Since Stehekin is remote, communication can be a problem. There is a public satellite phone available at the boat landing area. Messages can be delivered by radio for emergencies by calling the ranch reservation office at (509) 682-4677.
Other emergency numbers are:
North Cascades Dispatch (360) 873-4590 ext. 37
Chelan County Dispatch at (509) 664-5243

We do have limited wi-fi, but be warned that it is satellite based, and thus disappointingly slow for those used to the fast and unlimited service that is standard in most cities. You will be able to use it for email and general browsing, but do not plan to use our wi-fi for downloading videos, voice applications, or downloading large files such as high res pictures. 

For Fun

Known for its beauty, this area offers varied recreation opportunities, including horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and biking. Employees are free to partake of guided activities at no cost whenever space is available. For those who love the outdoors, Stehekin offers a great opportunity to live and play to your heart’s delight!

Our Jobs

We are hiring for a variety of positions. You can find a complete list of available positions and descriptions on our website.
Our season runs from mid-June through September 30. Candidates that are able to work the entire season will be given preference. 

Breakfast/Lunch Cook


Baking biscuits, muffins, coffee cakes, and cookies. Cooking standard breakfast fare: eggs, omelets, hash browns, breakfast meats, pancakes. Making soups cooking burgers, slicing lunchmeats and cheese and other details for setting up lunch bar. Shift hours: 5:30 AM till 1:30 or 2 PM


Bus Driver


Responsible for transporting guests throughout the Stehekin valley on a scheduled bus. Also required to load/unload luggage, haul freight, and do daily errands such as picking up the mail. An insurable driving record and a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL) with passenger endorsement or the ability to get one is required. 


Dinner Cook


Responsible for preparing main dish, starch, vegetable, bread, and some dessert for dinner. Help with clean-up after dinner. Will be responsible for supervising the prep cook and other helpers in the kitchen during your shift. Shift hours: 1pm - 8 or 8:30pm




Washing breakfast dishes, cleaning restrooms and showers, preparing dining room for dinner, washing pots and pans before dinner, helping serve dinner and helping with dishes and cleanup after dinner. Split shifts 8AM till 11:30 or noon, then 4:30 till 8:00 or 8:30 PM.


Housekeeper/dinner help


This person is responsible for cleaning all guest cabins, restrooms, shower rooms, and library. Must be a detail person who is very particular about cleanliness. Split shifts: Housekeeping duties: 9am-1pm. Dinner help (washing dishes, serving guests, clean up after dinner: 4:30-8:30pm.


Kayak Guide


Guide kayak tours on Lake Chelan. Responsible for transporting guests to and from the put-in, basic instruction and paddling techniques, and provide a running commentary on the local history and environmental points of interest. This is a part-time position and must be willing to work other jobs.




General knowledge in areas of mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. Ability to operate related equipment as well as some heavy machinery is essential. Shift hours: 8:00am-4:30pm.


Massage Therapist


Must be licensed to do massage therapy in the state of Washington. You will need to bring your own table and other supplies. This is generally a part-time position but can be combined with another shift (housekeeping as worked well in the past) to create a full-time schedule.


Prep Cook


Make salads from recipes provided, helps set up buffet line for dinner, helps with serving and cleanup after dinner. Cleanup duties may include putting away food, helping with dishes, cleaning kitchen and floors. Works under main dinner cook. Shift hours: 1:00 PM till 8:00 or 8:30 PM

How to Apply

You MUST complete our application form in order for your application to be considered. You may either fill out the online form or print out a hardcopy and mail it to: Stehekin Valley Ranch, Attn: HR, PO Box 36, Stehekin, WA 98852

Go to our Jobs page to find our application.

The following items are optional. We find them to be extremely helpful in the hiring process and highly recommend including them, but it is your choice as to whether you wish to send them in your application packet or not:

1. Personal references.
2. A letter about yourself and why you would like to spend the summer in Stehekin.
3. Letters of recommendation.
4. A photo.

ALL APPLICANTS are required to fill out our application form in English to begin the application process. Your letter must be written in English and you must provide recent English speaking references and valid phone numbers. It is necessary for international applicants to be students and to have either a J-1 Exchange Visitors' Visa or an F-1 Visa and have already been accepted to a program. No exceptions.