USA Ranch Volunteers

From $3,289, 20 days, USA Trip code: USRV

  • Adventure 4 out of 5
  • Relaxation 2 out of 5
  • Culture 2 out of 5
USA Ranch VolunteersUSA Ranch VolunteersUSA Ranch Volunteers

Trip Highlights

  • Riding a horse through incredible scenery and wide-open sagebrush valleys, along streams and into the mountains.
  • Being part of a real working ranch – learning to lasso, fix a fence, pitch hay, gather cows on horseback and watching farriers at work.
  • Camping overnight, seeing amazing wildlife – deer, antelope, and elk – and hearing coyotes sing every night.
  • Taking an evening horseback ride after dinner while the moon is rising and the sun is going down – you really will ride into the sunset!
  • Exploring Yellowstone country and canyons, geysers and waterfalls (and seeing herds of buffalo) during a weekend off the ranch.

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

Experience life to the full volunteering on a real working ranch in the American Rocky Mountain West. During this unique three week volunteer project, you will bond with a horse that is matched to your experience and abilities, ride through incredible scenery and wide-open spaces straight out of the big screen.

You will also learn to be a real ranch hand with other volunteers - fix fences, pitch hay, gather cows, wrangle horses and be part of life on a ranch where every day is an adventure. There will be plenty of time to relax around the campfire, enjoy home-cooked meals in a spacious Western dining room, view wildlife and explore the gorgeous Yellowstone country.  


When do I want to go?

Showing all departures (9)

Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
10 August 201420 days$3,289AvailableBook now
31 August 201420 days$3,289AvailableBook now
22 March 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
26 April 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
31 May 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
5 July 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
9 August 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
30 August 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now
4 October 201520 days$3,315AvailableBook now

What will I be doing?

  • Ranch tasks and activities (19 days)

  • 'A typical day at the ranch' (19 days)

Ranch tasks and activities : 19 days

Next Leg

Destination info

The USA is a melting pot of cultures all thrown together 200 odd years ago by the mass immigration to the ‘New World’ by pretty much everyone - Europeans, Asians, South Americans and so on.

Wyoming, known as the “Cowboy State”, is famous for its northwestern corner, which is home to two of the USA’s most magnificent national parks: geyser-packed Yellowstone and the majestic Grand Tetons. Towns, such as Jackson and Lander, are ideal bases for hiking, camping, climbing and skiing adventures in the region. There is so much to do in this beautiful state, especially volunteering on an authentic American ranch.

  • Location: Wyoming

You will be based on the working ranch for the duration of your trip. You will be involved in hands-on activities including participation in chores, trail riding, horse wrangling, cattle gathering, branding and cattle drives. You will be carefully matched with a horse based on your riding experience and your goals for your 3-week project. The project will be tailored to your riding ability and interests as often as possible.

 

Volunteer tasks and activities may include:

  • Learning how a working ranch is run by getting involved in daily ranch chores
  • Looking after the horses and equipment - feeding, watering and cleaning
  • Cattle work such as checking the health of the herd, moving cattle when needed (on horseback), and fixing fences
  • Short trail rides
  • Long trail rides with lunch and overnight camping for 2/3 day rides
  • Wrangling between 40 and 80 head of horses
  • Barrel racing
  • Team-penning (cattle work)
  • Basic roping lessons (on the ground)

The ranch occasionally has one day sessions for groups of children (under 12) to teach them about horses. Volunteers are welcome to get involved in these sessions when they occur as the kids love to meet the people with the funny accents!

 

You will have the amazing opportunity to ride and bond with your horse each day on the ranch. In your free time you may be able to visit local attractions including Yellowstone National Park, hot springs, historical centres, and rodeos. During your 3-week placement you will truly get to experience the Western lifestyle and country from the back of a horse.
 

'A typical day at the ranch': 19 days

Destination info

The USA is a melting pot of cultures all thrown together 200 odd years ago by the mass immigration to the ‘New World’ by pretty much everyone - Europeans, Asians, South Americans and so on.

 

Wyoming, known as the “Cowboy State”, is famous for its northwestern corner, which is home to two of the USA’s most magnificent national parks: geyser-packed Yellowstone and the majestic Grand Tetons. Towns, such as Jackson and Lander, are ideal bases for hiking, camping, climbing and skiing adventures in the region. There is so much to do in this beautiful state, especially volunteering on an authentic American ranch.

  • Location: The ranch

6.30am Wranglers bring in the horses
7am Morning feeding
7.30am Breakfast
8am Horse assignment, grooming and tacking
8.30-9am Morning riding commences (arena/trail ride/all day ride/specialist activity)
12.30-1pm Lunch begins
1-30pm to 2.30pm One hour rest time if schedule allows
2.30- 3pm Afternoon activity - i.e. re-tacking horses for riding
6.30-7pm Supper begins
8pm Evening walk/games/down-time until bed time

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To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Airport Transfer
  • Orientation on arrival
  • All Accommodation
  • All Meals
  • Instruction by ranch staff
  • Tack
  • Use of the horses
  • Support and assistance from the coordinator
  • Buddy list
  • Emergency 24 hour support number

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance - must cover horseback riding
  • Email or phone charges
  • Any excursions not in itinerary

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants’ health. Please note that the age range of volunteers at the ranch may differ, so please be prepared to work alongside other volunteers of different age ranges.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

There are no minimum numbers on the trip.

Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us

 

Accommodation

Your accommodation will be a 12 x 12' fully-carpeted log cabin, with full electricity, nightstand and lamp, in Western style, with old-fashioned curtains in each of the four windows. Each cabin is fully heated and has an electric thermostat and a ceiling fan attached to the overhead light. All of the cabins have shaded front porches with chairs, old-style horse-shoe hooks mounted on exterior walls for hanging and drying outdoor gear and clothing, and charming old-time cowboy porch lights. There are no bathrooms or running water in the cabins, these are located in a separate building.

Close to the guest cabins is the Hub, which has a full professional kitchen, spacious dining room with heavy log tables and benches for family-style dining with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. There is a specially-designated area just for interns and guests with two big comfy couches for reading and relaxing, a CD player/radio, and a telephone. There are lots of board games, cards, books, a piano keyboard, guitar and banjo. There is no television on the ranch, but occasionally, movies may be watched on one of the ranch laptops.

 

Meals

There is an open kitchen, plenty of snacks and three full meals a day.

 

Is this trip for you?

You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.

 

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.

 

 

FAQ

1. Is previous horse riding experience essential to join the programme?

No previous experience is necessary as the Ranch offers instruction. Rides are tailored to all levels of horsemanship experience and disciplines of riders. Riders are matched to appropriate horses for their abilities, so the beginners are comfortable and the advanced not held back. A unique feature of our programme is that riders also have the option to stay with one horse or learn from the experience of riding several horses during their stay.

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2. Are riding helmets provided?

Please bring your own riding helmet to the Ranch. We strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet at all times whilst riding.

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What will I see in whilst on the ranch?

20 photos

What other travelers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (9/10) (9 reviews)
USA Ranch Volunteers

I Hocking - January 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(5/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Made new friends, met real cowboys, loved Wyoming!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(2/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(2/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(4/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(4/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(7/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The beautiful Wyoming countryside, trip to the rodeo, trip to Yellowstone and real life cowboys (especially Ray!). Also the barrel racing we did in the last week was good fun, and I loved my horse. It was good to have the choice between staying with one horse or trying different ones.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. This trip is not suitable for experienced riders as all rider levels are mixed together meaning you ride at a very slow pace. This was frustrating for the experienced riders who would have liked some long canters across the plains. 2. The cabins are lovely and very comfortable but the bathroom facilities consisted of one toilet with a curtain as a door. Bear this in mind if you're shy! 3. Definitely bring a torch and lots of suncream and lip balm.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Cow wrangling (this is not an option despite it being put in the information here), they in fact only have a couple of calves in a pen which was disappointing as that was something I had been most looking forward to. Similarly, we only wrangled the horses in once. Also some fast riding would have been good as most of the riding was very slow and aimed at beginners, despite there being some experienced riders in the group (although we did have a few canters in the last two weeks).

Any other comments?

There Were Not Enough Riders To Supervise - We Rode Out With 92 Year Old Nate And The Amazing Ray Who Was Wonderful But Had Injured Himself In The First Week Which Limited Him A Bit Despite His Best Efforts. This Made The Beginners On Our Ride Feel Uncomfortable/unsafe At Times - If Ray Hadn't Arrived Last Minute To Help Out Who Knows How It Would Have Worked. These Doubts Were Shared By Most Of The Group. It Was A Shame Because My Last Trip With Realgap Was Amazing.

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

No

USA Ranch Volunteers2014-01-15

Faye Craigie - October 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Astounding trip, new friends for life and beautiful new memories.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(1/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The unexpected team building with everyone else on the trip. Of course it goes without saying the riding was fantastic. MaeCile and Nate were the loveliest people to have been with, and I have never felt so at home with people I knew so little.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take your ipad/phone. Make sure you've got lots of downtime clothing- the weather might prevent you riding! Get in that saddle at every opportunity, and don't whinge, that's what your there for :]

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have liked to have gone to the night rodeo, but as it happens, it finished labour day, so we were out of luck in September!

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

No

USA Ranch Volunteers2013-10-06

Deborah Murcott - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Little girl cowgirl dream status: achieved

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Yellowstone NP, learning how to do some Western moves on my horse (including rollbacks and drop-to-trot lead changes), having the farrier teach us how to rope after he'd finished shoeing the horses and also showing us how to tie a calf (we borrowed Winston the goat for this), both Cody and Meeteese rodeos...

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. You have to arrange your own trip to Yellowstone - we were lucky and had an American in our group so we didn't have to worry about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road and she was also old enough to hire a minivan. Just something to bear in mind and maybe think about options before you go. 2. It wasn't as cold as I was lead to believe at night (the cabins are quite warm) - so didn't use half of my warm clothes although it's still a good idea to pack a fleece for when you camp out at Prospects or go to the Cody Nite Rodeo 3. If there's anything you'd like to do (e.g drive a tractor, go white water rafting, ride a gaited horse...) just say and they'll do their best to accomodate/arrange it! Don't keep quiet - you'll get more out of your trip.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

A bit longer to do more of Yellowstone or maybe even get down to the Grand Tetons, go to a proper barn dance and have a go at line dancing, some cattle work

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2013-08-05

Lauren Shearing - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Beautiful, fun, intense, serial, homely, welcoming, challenging, made best friends, amazing and the best expirance of my Life!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The amazing atmospher, friends and staff! Beautiful and well looked after horses with incredible scenery, Loved it!

Any other comments?

Amazing !

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2013-08-02

Rachel Graham - January 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

The best trip I've ever been on.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(6/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Early morning wrangling, learning ground work with the horses, breakfast, trips out to Yellowstone, and the ghost town, the rodeo.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take lots of suncream. Wrap up warm at night it gets very cold, and remember a torch!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2013-01-12

Elizabeth Cook - September 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Simply the best trip I've ever done. Perfect to me anyway!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(5/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(7/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Riding every day in beautiful settings, wrangling in horses in the morning before everyone else is up. Doing groundwork with the horses was fantastic. This was the trip of a lifetime! Yellowstone Park was awesome too, and so was white-water rafting. Making good friends and having a real laugh!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring a LOT of suncream, it is really hot! It gets very cold at night, so make sure you bring warm pyjamas/joggers or something. Throw yourself into everything and you will get the most out of the trip.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Perhaps a visit to the Grand Teton National Park, however this is much further away than Yellowstone I think.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2012-09-08

Laura Charlton - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The entire ranching experience was amazing and really lived up to my expectations. There wasn't a moment when you weren't doing something interesting and different. It was a completely worthwhile experience and I definitely have the Wyoming blues now that I'm home.

Would you travel with our company again?

No

Would you recommend us?

No

USA Ranch Volunteers2011-10-11

Elizabeth Dennis - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Had absolutely the best time EVER!!!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The highlight for my trip was the weekend trip to Jackson after spending the day in Yellowstone. We drove through the Grand Tetons National Park which is far more spectacular than Yellowstone before going to the Jackson Rodeo and then spending the night in the Million Dollar Cowboy bar (where the bar stools are western saddles!). The next morning we shopped in Jackson before returning to the ranch back through the National Parks.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Bring lots of money! 2. It costs less to pay for an extra bag (c.$30) on the return trip than it does to cover the excess baggage charge (c.$135). 3. Wear suncream because it gets HOT!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2011-07-04

Harriet Gwilt - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Fantastic experience, will never ever forget it, i definitely want to return some day, made many good friends from all over the world, incredibley delicious food every meal time, good fun, so many heartwarming memories, epic western landscapes, adventurous terrain which helps conquers your fears, overall... brilliant time of my life!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Trail riding everyday / team games in the arena such as barrel racing, tag and relay races / volunteering to stack hay at a local ranch / visiting Yellowstone National Park / Attending the rodeo in the town of Meeteetsee and going to the town bbq afterwards and dancing with the local cowboys

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. The weather i experienced during July/August was incredibly hot- 38 degrees celsius some days so be prepared for that 2. Don't bother taking jodphurs or chaps- jeans more than suffice 3. You will be sleeping in a sleeping bag for the entire 3 weeks (i didn't know this!)

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Ranch Volunteers2011-07-04

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