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Employment Opportunities

We’re looking for motivated, charismatic folks who love people and the outdoors

Working at a guest ranch is fun and fulfilling, but it’s not a vacation. Staff members can expect long days, to work hard and expend lots of energy with enthusiasm. Smith Fork Ranch has a commitment to excellence and high employee standards. Our goal is to provide our guests with an amazing and memorable ranch vacation, and each department works together to do this. It’s a team effort: at one time or another, staff members can expect to help in different areas of ranch operations, such as housekeeping, waiting tables, dishwashing, clearing trails, and groundskeeping.


Being a member of the Smith Fork Ranch team might be the most difficult job you have ever had.  It can also be the best job you have ever had! You get back what you put into it. If you are interested in joining us for the summer, know that we expect our staff to be able to stay through the end of August, and a few perhaps into the fall. We also choose members who share our philosophy and values. The ideal SFR team member:

  • Communicates effectively and sensitively
  • Is attentive to the needs of others
  • Enjoys working with people and genuinely care about their well-being
  • Has high self-esteem and a positive outlook on life
  • Is honest, responsible, and conscientious with a desire to carry out work assignments to the best of their personal ability
  • Is flexible and easygoing, even when the unexpected occurs
  • Has a good sense of humor and the ability to have fun
  • Is able to complete tasks with efficiency, safety and enthusiasm
  • Is a positive role models for others and take their responsibilities seriously
  • Gets along with, enjoys being with, and respects people of different ages and backgrounds
  • Is a team player
  • Appreciates the outdoors

Interested in applying for a seasonal position?

We are now accepting applications for our 2020 Season that will operate from mid-May through the end of October:

*Updated as of January 27, 2020

FAQS before you apply

Who would be your ideal employee candidate?

For more information on all the details we look at when hiring for our guest season please head over to our Coolworks.com posting. There is a lot of information and resources there.

I’ve never worked at a ranch before how much experience do you require?

Some positions require more than others. Working with the horse herd and wrangling often requires a life-time of being around horses and a barn. If you’re looking at guiding some experience in all the activities is great but if you have less experience in one activity please feel free to submit your application with where you do have experience. When we look at youth counselor applicants we are looking to see if they’ve worked with kids before, babysitting, nannying and other camp counselor experience is always a plus. A few positions that require little to no experience might be our housekeeping, dining and kitchen assistant positions and a willingness to learn will help you acquire skills for your position or other positions you would like to have for future employment at the ranch.

Your ranch season runs from mid-May through October but I’m only available for part of it, should I still apply?

We typically require our staff to be available from the start of our staff orientation (when we focus on training and getting to know the ranch) in mid-May through the end of our Summer Season (August 24, 2019). If your dates vary slightly, by a few days to a week, on either end of those days we encourage you to submit your application. We do require that our staff is available for the majority of our staff orientation so that each staff member gets to know each other and what our expectations throughout your employment are. For the 2019 Season staff orientation will run from May 13th-May 23rd and we will open for guest season on May 24th.

I am an HB2 or Visa applicant, do you all sponsor or accept international applicants?

Yes, however we do require very specific dates of employment for these applicants. You must be available for the start of our staff orientation (May 13, 2019) and be eligible for employment for at least 3 months.

I do not live anywhere near Crawford, Colorado do you help in getting staff to the ranch in the case that I am hired?

Many applicants are relocating to the Ranch for the Summer season. If you do not have a vehicle we will assist in picking you up from the surrounding airports (Montrose Regional or Grand Junction Regional Airports) however we do require you to get yourself there. Once on the ranch property you are not allowed to borrow any ranch vehicles or other staff vehicles for personal use. Due to our remote location we do recommend that staff has their own vehicle to leave the ranch for personal errands or exploring on days off.

Is housing provided for employees?

Yes, housing on the ranch is provided for seasonal employees. Since we are in a remote location, many of our staff live on the property in shared bunkhouse-style, two-story buildings and shared co-ed houses. Safari Club is 3/4 mile down the road from the main ranch property and provides some privacy from our guest areas. Safari is comprised of 4 buildings, 2 shared bunkhouse-style living quarters that are separate for male and female staff with up to 3 staff members per each living space and a capacity of 12 staff at Safari. Adjoining the staff living quarters is a two-sided bathhouse each side has two full bathrooms and a laundry facility equipped with washers & dryers. Also on the Safari Club property there is a recreation room with a small kitchen, satellite T.V., limited wi-fi, a Ping-Pong table, as well as a campfire outdoor area that is available for all staff use. Staff House is a 4-bedroom house on our main ranch property, each bedroom can house 2 staff members with a lofted bedroom area in each room for additional privacy. There are two bathrooms, a kitchen and living room with satellite T.V. wifi and a back porch for relaxing on.

I see that there are a few ranch dogs & cats, if I’m hired can I bring my fur friend?

Due to the size and location of our ranch we cannot allow seasonal staff to bring their fur friends with them. The fur friends that are on the ranch property are pets of the year round staff living here and have been acclimated to the hectic nature of our guest season and the horse herd. If you have a fur friend you will have to leave them with a family member or close friend during your employment. There are also some resources in the neighboring towns in which you may be able to find someone who lives locally to care for your fur friend throughout the duration of your employment at SFR.

My significant other and I are looking for employment on a ranch, do you hire couples?

Yes, as long as the both of you are a good fit for the positions you applied for we have hired couples in the past. However, we cannot guarantee/do not have co-ed housing for couples. We encourage you to be honest with us if you and your significant other have both applied for positions – as working, living and being in a committed relationship on the ranch can present challenges of it’s own. We will discuss the challenges we have seen presented in the past throughout the interview process.

I have a family, can you provide housing for us in the case that I am hired?

Unfortunately the ranch property and housing is not suitable for families. The town of Crawford may have some rental options available for families if we and you decide that you are a good fit for employment at the ranch.

It all sounds great, how do I set up an interview?

Start by filling out our online application or downloading a paper copy and sending it to us via email (employment@smithforkranch.com) or snail mail. By filing out the online application we receive it moments after you’ve submitted it. We will contact applicants via the email you provide letting you know that we’ve received it and an approximate timeframe in which you should expect to hear from us. Qualified applicants will be contacted by our office via the phone number provided by you to set up an initial phone interview. Our interview process typically entails a multistep process of interviews from our General Manager and Individual Department leads back to a final interview with our General Manager. If we feel that you are a good fit for Smith Fork Ranch we will extend an offer to join our team for the season.

How to Apply

We are currently looking to fill all the above 2020 seasonal positions. To Apply please do at least one of the following:

Fill out our online application. Please be prepared to fill it out completely with your personal information and previous employment information. You may also opt to attach a current resume, cover letter and current photo of yourself. Or

Download our Application and email your completed application along with a resume, cover letter and a recent photo of yourself to: employment@smithforkranch.com Or

Download our Application and mail your completed application along with a resume, cover letter and a recent photo of yourself to:

Smith Fork Ranch
Attn: General Manager
45362 Needle Rock Road
Crawford, CO 81415

IMPORTANT: Click here (PDF) to read our Employment Guidelines.


To Apply for any of our FULL TIME positions please do the following:

Please download and fill-out our FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT FORM, and e-mail it, along with your resume, job references, salary history, compensation expectations and recent personal photo(s) to Marley Hodgson, owner: marley@smithforkranch.com