Elkhorn guests often ask, “How do you find such great crew? Where do they come from?” What makes a guest ranch job applicant stand out? As you might imagine, there’s no one answer. In the case of Hailey Simpson, the answer is delightful and amusing. Hailey separated herself from the crowd when she explained how she’d landed her first dude ranch job in the summer of 2015 at age 19.

In a nutshell, Hailey’s family vacationed at the Lazy L and B Ranch near Dubois, WY early that summer.

Hailey reminisced, “I met cool kids my age from all over the country working and having fun in a beautiful place … [and] I cried when I left.” While waiting for her plane home at the Jackson Hole airport, she found a job offer at the Gros Ventre River Ranch on the ace # 1 seasonal job recruiting site coolworks . She interviewed and was offered a job from Chicago O’Hare during the layover; booked a flight back to Wyoming immediately upon return home to Ohio; and started her first dude ranch job a week later. Then she headed south to Elkhorn that fall to work in the dining room, then back north to the Montana Elkhorn. Clearly, she was hooked.

Hailey’s returned to Elkhorn this season, having completed a college degree in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel at Hocking College ~ where she picked up new outdoor and business skills. At school, she was the farm and garden manager at the Robbin’s Crossing Historical Village. Between work and school, she’s traveled backpacker style in Vietnam, Bahamas, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore ~ learning about and experiencing sustainable travel in well loved lovely places. Hailey’s heading to another dude ranch this summer in northern Montana where she’ll transition from the housekeeping and serving roles of previous jobs to guiding. She’ll have her dog pal Nox along side and her binoculars ~ eager to add to her bird list. Needless to say, we hope she’ll head south to Arizona again next season.

I met cool kids my age from all over the country working and having fun in a beautiful place!

~ Hailey Simpson