Live The Cowboy Way of Life

fun and adventure

Are you looking for something to do this summer? The Bar W Guest Ranch is a great place to spend time working as well as enjoying the outdoors.  Are you hard-working, outgoing, fun-loving person with a sense of adventure?  The Bar W is a family ranch with activities for guests of all ages.  As a small Montana ranch with about 35 guests per week, we make it a point to make everyone feel special.  If you love horses and people, or just the outdoors, we just might have a seasonal home for you! 

Located in the beautiful Flathead Valley on Spencer Lake in NW Montana, the Bar W is just 25 miles from Glacier National Park.  We are 3.5 miles away from the vibrant resort town of Whitefish.

about bar w guest ranch

At The Bar W, we believe that a well-run dude ranch is hospitality at its very finest. Our number one goal is to provide not only our guests but our staff with the best possible experience of their lives. Our staff is our number one resource.  Each year we hire for both seasonal and year-round positions.

Working on a dude ranch is not like any other job. The work is hard and the hours are long. But this is the one job that will become part of you for the rest of your life. You will make lifelong friendships with both staff and guests, as well as learn skills and a work ethic that will stay with you wherever you go.

ideal candidate

Regardless of the position, you are hired for, we are looking for people who are willing to help wherever needed. This is a people-oriented business, and we are looking for staff with excellent communication skills and outgoing personalities. It is also important that everyone be a team player.

Check out this short promotional video to learn more about our ranch and what we offer our guests.

The Employee experience

Working at the ranch is more than just a job, you’re truly part of something remarkable. The Bar W is a family owned, operated, and oriented atmosphere which applies not only to our guests but to our team as well. Many of our employees come to the ranch as an opportunity to step out on their own while being in a safe, fun, and fulfilling atmosphere. We provide the opportunity for you to gain independence, confidence, and experiences you’ll take with you the rest of your life.

We hire employees from all over the U.S. which creates a diverse and vibrant team. Our staff forms lifelong friendships and become a part of our Bar W family. Right on the property, staff has access to Spencer Lake, 3,000 acres of state forest, stocked trout pond for fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. Glacier National Park is 25 miles away and offers boundless recreational opportunities including whitewater rafting, and over 700 miles of hiking.

We guarantee that you’ll work hard, have fun, and you’ll always remember the season you spent at the Bar W. Click here to read our three guiding principles that define our culture and we consider our “cowboy code.” We assure you, that while creating life long memories for the guests, you will also be creating them for yourself.

Watch a video showcasing our team’s experience working at the ranch

Positions Available:

We are currently hiring for:

  • Maintenance/Ranch Hand (year-round)
  • Reservations & Front Desk Coordinator (year-round)
  • Wranglers 2019 Season (seasonal)
  • Cooks 2019 Season (seasonal)
  • Lodge Staff 2019 Season (seasonal)
  • Kid’s Counselor 2019 (seasonal)

We are currently accepting employment applications for the 2019 season (May through October).  Our hiring managers will review applications in late December/January and make hiring decisions for the upcoming season no later than the end of March. We will reach out to applicants to schedule interviews

Maintenance/Ranch Hand

Responsible for maintenance services and repairs in the areas of plumbing, electrical, carpentry, painting, plastering, ranch equipment as well as general grounds maintenance.

• Valid Driver’s license
• Working knowledge of carpentry, electrical, plumbing, painting, trucks, tractors, trailers, RV’s and facility grounds.
• Ability to use efficiently various power and hand tools.
• Ability to operate ranch equipment including but not limited to trucks, tractors with implements, trailers.
• Knowledge of safety procedures
• Problems solving skills
• Ability to follow oral and written instructions
• Ability to establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships.
• Ability to adapt to a wide variety of tasks happening at same time
• Ability to handle objects weighing up to 200 pounds
• Ability to stoop, bend, squat, twist, reach repeatedly without restriction
• Ability to lift 70-100 pounds repeatedly
• Can “do” attitude
• Team player
• Ability to work long hours

lodge staff

The Bar W is seeking motivated candidates for lodge staff positions. The role of the lodge staff is to perform any combination of daily light cleaning tasks to weekly deep cleaning. Duties to include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, vacuuming, doing dishes and light gardening, assisting at mealtimes serving and cleaning up. Work with the head cook to make sure all kitchen and food storage areas are kept clean and organized at all times. On a daily basis in addition to helping at meal times, ensure that all guest rooms, cabin, common areas and office are clean and have the proper linens and supplies. Experienced individuals preferred, but are willing to train motivated candidates.

kids counselor

We have an incredible Kids Program at the Bar W Guest Ranch and want counselors that have interest and enthusiasm for the group they work with. The Cowpoke Program is for kids ages 0-6 years and provides a day-camp type atmosphere that focuses on outdoor activities, basic horseback riding, small animal care, crafts, and games. The Cowpoke group is usually small, only about 1-3 kids each week. The Kids Counselor is responsible for the kids when the parents and other family members are taking part in the horseback riding program or other ranch activities. In times that we don’t have any kids on the ranch, or no kids participating in the program the Kids Counselor will be a wrangler and take out horseback rides, give lessons, etc. Our ideal candidate has experience and interest in working at day cares or preschool programs with some horse background.


Seasonal Wranglers are responsible for the day to day care of the corral, tack and horses. Wrangler’s first priority is the safety of the guest & horses. Wrangler must adhere to the horse program put in place by the Bar W while under the direction of the Head Wrangler.

Although hired as a Wrangler, employees must also be willing to do all jobs asked of them.

The season normally starts May 1st and ends October 1st. Preference will be given to Wranglers that are available for the entire season but students are encouraged to apply.

Wrangler duties include but not limited to:

grooming feeding and saddling horses
conduct safe and fun rides for the guests
ability to be in control of your ride and stay alert for any safety issues
help with evening activities
maintain fence and corrals
stack hay
operate a tractor to feed
inspect and hook up truck and trailer
must be a confident rider
must be able to communicate to guest how to ride, and have the fortitude to enforce it.
have a working knowledge of horses, tack, and ranch work
ability to engage the guest in conversation both on the trail and at the ranch
ability to put in long hours all season
valid drivers license
ability to lift 75 lbs repeatedly
As a wrangler, you are interacting with the guest often and must be able to think on your feet and keep the guest happy without violating Bar W rules and regulations.  All employees are required to have current basic first aid and CPR from the Red Cross before arriving at the ranch.


This is a seasonal full time position. As an upscale operation we are looking for cooks who can consistently put out excellent meals, on time and well presented. Responsible for food management and preparation, keeping the kitchen, food storage areas, refrigeration, and all equipment clean. Preference will be given to those who can start in early May and work through October. The successful candidate will be a self starter and have drive and stamina to put in long days to get the job done. Also must be willing to help with activities, tasks and chores unrelated to the kitchen. Must be well organized and manage time well. Must have a good sense of presentation

Reservations & front desk coordinator

This is a year-round office position.  In the vital role of Reservations and Front Desk Coordinator, the first responsibility is to ensure that ranch’s image and reputation is established and maintained as an informal, high quality, professional, customer focused facility as seen through the eyes of the guests, the town of Whitefish, Flathead County and nationally. This is to be accomplished through providing focused, consistent, and high quality customer service and outreach in a professional stature at all times.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the administration, organization, and coordination of all office systems and databases as they relate to front desk and reservations, working with the General Manager on organizational activities and specialized events, following up on inquiries and communicating with and booking guests, checking guests out, ensuring complete customer satisfaction and assist in projects and assignments that will foster continued growth of all ranch endeavors. This includes communicating individual guest arrival and departures as well as all requests with all departments to see that guest expectations are met.

Reservations & Sales

  • Responding to inquiries via email and following up the same day or within in a 24 hour time period.
  • Communicating price quotes, providing available dates, and answering questions in a knowledgeable and professional manner.
  • Populating the RezStream reservations systems with all contact information, details of conversations – dates, things discussed, dietary needs, special requests, etc.
  • Proficient in basic math in order to successfully check guests out.
  • Working with Managing Partner/General Manager and Marketing Director for booking special events – corporate, weekend, weddings, wagon ride dinners, etc

Record Keeping and Tracking

  • Record all inquiries as to their referral origin and lead status
  • Ongoing maintenance of the database
  • Ongoing maintenance of inquiries sheet. Reporting once per month.
  • Collect and coordinate travel arrangements including flight information and communicate schedule to guest relations
  • Taking pictures of all guests or working with Guest Relations to obtain photos and enter them into RezStream
  • Making sure that all arriving guests complete liability waiver forms and keep on file.


  • Prior experience using computers including a high level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Outlook as well as form development, and databases.·Excellent communication and people skills-both verbal and written.
  • Excellent organizational skills – filing, mailing, faxing, following up on leads, etc
  • 3 years prior experience in the hospitality industry in sales and marketing would be nice


  • “Can do” attitude
  • Team player
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast paced environment
  • Flexible
  • Ability to work well with people.
  • Ability to manage and coordinate multiple projects, problems and requirements concurrently.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Self motivated
  • Requires little guidance


  • Ability to feel comfortable around horses
  • Ability to drive ranch vehicles
  • Ability to bend, stoop and reach without restriction.
  • Ability to lift up to 75 – 100 pounds
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