Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

So you want to work on a Dude Ranch?

Sundance Trail has a special feeling - The feeling is “home.” We are a small guest ranch near Red Feather Lakes (37 miles northwest of Fort Collins). We border Roosevelt National Forest and sit at 8000 feet and welcome up to 24 guests a week into our home.

Near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado or 37 miles northwest of Fort Collins.

About Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

Being a small operation allows us to give each guest our personal attention, to make their vacation meet or exceed their expectations, whether it’s the riding, the food, the lodging, the service or any the other activities here on the ranch. Our guests feel right at home here – but spoiled at the same time. That is why a dude ranch vacation is often the best family vacation they will ever experience. That is our goal to make this happen for every person/family that comes to our ranch.

Since we hold this high expectation for the quality of service that our guests receive, we have high expectations for our employees. We are looking for employees that are warm, outgoing, and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. You must not be afraid of long hours and hard work. All positions require you to be organized, willing to take initiative and pay close attention to detail. You must get along well with others, work well as part of a team, and must have a "can do" attitude. We hire happy people!

It may sound hokey, but we truly believe that our mission is not about maximizing profit. Our mission is to maximize joy: our guests, yours, and our own. 

The Employee Experience

Working at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch is a once in a life time experience. Set amongst the Roosevelt National Forest and 140 acres of private land, there is no reason to get bored. Ranch work is hard at times, but rewarding as well. At the end of the day when your ready to pull your boots off and you're tuckered out, there's satisfaction when you've made a difference in our guests vacation experiences.



Ideal Candidate

Someone who loves the outdoors, adventure, horses, and meeting new people.  We are looking for folks who are looking to serve our guests - to provide them with a high level of personalized service that will leave them with memories of the best vacation/experience of their lifetime.

Folks who can make eye contact and engage in conversation with folks from many different walks of life. Folks who will gladly make buttered noodles for that picky eater with a smile, or create a special cake that someone stated they wanted for tomorrow's dessert.

Room and Board

Expanded, nicer staff rooms have been added this year, in addition to an additional WiFi connection.  This summer's some staff will have a private room or just share with one person. No charge for housing, just a deposit to protect our new buildings.

Historically, lodging has been provided in bunkhouse style. Small refrigerators are provided for personal food/beverage items. The ranch provides linens and towels. Laundry facilities are available at no charge. Sundance Trail has limited satellite WI-FI. If you choose to bring a laptop, understand that email and web surfing are okay; music, video, and games are not. Cell phone service is spotty, but most staff can find a location that works. Short long-distance calls may be made on the main Ranch line.

Food is plentiful and delicious, and we encourage all staff to eat with our guests. Meals are served family style. This is a time of fellowship and of course story-telling.

Employee Perks

Compensation consists of hourly pay and tips as well as the value of lodging and meals. Actual amounts will depend upon the position and how delighted the guests are each week. Paychecks are distributed every two weeks.

Working at a guest ranch is hard work, but it’s also a great deal of fun. You will have the opportunity to meet people from across the country and around the world.

Getting Here and Getting Around

We encourage staff to bring a vehicle. It is not necessary but gives you the freedom to get off the ranch on your days off. There is some gorgeous country to see and explore while you are here. Ranch vehicles are for ranch purposes only.

If you fly, we will gladly arrange to pick you up at Denver International Airport.

For Fun

Staff may join in on any ranch activity, it may be an assigned duty, or on their days off, or after chores are completed. These activities may include: Horseback riding, hiking, biking, rock-climbing, disc golf, fishing, riflery, archery to name a few. Maybe you want to try white-water rafting, climbing a fourteener or visit Rocky Mountain National Park while you are here . And don't forget the rodeo! There are many opportunities.

Our Jobs

Positions that still need to be filled, as of April 10, 2017

Chef/Lead Cook position - AKA - Summer Boss Cook

The lead cook (Chef), is responsible for the preparation & serving of 3 meals a day, plus cookies/snacks for 30 – 40 people a day.  Maintains a clean kitchen and wash dishes as needed. Assists in menu planning and food inventory management.  Need to be able to bake breads/rolls, cookies and desserts, to make soup, and salad, and hearty meat & potato type meals. Most meals are served family style or outdoors/buffet style.  Once a week we serve a fancier plated dinner for adults.  This is a fun chance to do something special.  

Often the Lead Cook - delegates breakfast preparation and a lot of the baking to the assistant cook.  However some really like breakfast or baking and will instead split duties in a different fashion.  We will not micro-manage you - as long as the guests are delighted in your food and work hours are reasonably split between the two cooks we will be delighted.  This means lead cook is actually in the kitchen executing just 2 meals each day.

Assistant Cook Position - AKA - Summer Breakfast Cook

This person is often the Breakfast cook and is also responsible for making the breads, cookies and desserts.  Usually this person following serving breakfast will do kitchen maintenance, and prep for lunch/dinner as directed by Lead Cook.

House Manager Position

Manages kitchen, and housekeeping staff, maintains adequate food inventory and housekeeping supplies, manages kitchen operations, always ready for the possible public health inspection.  Works with the Event Manager for facilitating successful events.  Will create staff work schedules, and facilitate creating a safe, fun and efficient work environment.  This is a middle management position, that may turn into a year-round position.

Wrangler with Maintenance/Carpentry Specialty

Wrangler/Carpenter: If you are a skilled wrangler AND a skilled carpenter AND looking for summer employment starting immediately, we are doing a number of fun building projects.  We always have things to fix.  But this summer we have some fun building projects - make tables for new wedding venue, build obstacles for obstacle/fitness course, to name two.

Please see our job list on our website for detailed job descriptions.

Breakfast Cook / Prep Cook / Baker

Cooking/baking experience preferred, but will consider candidates who are comfortable in the kitchen.

Childrens' Wrangler

Responsible for constructing and maintaining a complete children’s program for pre-schoolers through young teens (5 to 15 years old).

Dining Room Steward / Executive Dishwasher

Responsibilities include strategic planning, executive direction and maintaining dining room.


Dude Ranch Rock Climbing Instructor

position will be part time, split with either housekeeping or wrangling positions or other positions. Must be able to lead single pitch top roping program for both small and larger groups. Be able to climb at 5.8 level on top rope, lead 5.7 climbs on artificial walls.


This person hops around and does a bunch of different things each day.


Preference will be given to those applicants that can start early to mid May and work into September, October and November.

Wrangler - Sawyer

How to Apply

On the employment pages of our website, you will find detailed job descriptions, expectations, and our application. You will find lots more about the culture of Sundance Trail on our Secret Staff Pages. You can find the link to the Secret Staff Pages at the very bottom of each page of our website in very tiny print "Staff Login." The password is 9702241222 which is our phone number and is printed right there on the page!

If you believe this is the place for you, please complete and submit our online application.