Working Life at Rainbow Ranch Lodge 🇺🇸

By Jenn Lim - April 13, 2021

Hey guys, this post I will wrote about my working life in USA. Hope if you plan go for Work and Travel in USA, you can have a picture of how will be the 3.5 months life there.

Let's start for your frequent Q&A

How my employers ?

FYI, my working place is Rainbow Ranch Lodge (short-form we call RR) at Big Sky, Montana, as a housekeeping.  I must said that my Employer is super good until I want to give 5 star rating.

The fews reason I choose RR as my first employer:

1. They provided free accommodation: Yes, you not seeing wrong. Nothing need to be pay for our 3.5 months stay when working at RR, still the dormitory housing is super nice with all the facilities needed.

2. They provided daily breakfast cover for free : At first they mentioned in JD is cover one meals breakfast, but lastly they even cover our dinner sometimes.

3. Free Laundry Service: JD wrote need to charge around 5 USD per service but lastly no, we pay nothing.

4. The wages 10 USD / hours : This basic was consider very nice compared with other employer there especially when with free accommodation. 

5. Second Jobs Opportunities: There are variety second jobs opportunity offer in Big Sky Town Area with free public transport - Bus.

But still have the Cons, RR did not cover any Ski-pass for employees. 🎿 If we hope to go for ski or snowboarding, we need bear the cost our own. While most of the employer at that area is actually cover their employees for this. So if you wish to go for ski experience, you might consider go for other employer.

How To Find Second Job?

This info that I provided only applicable for those who going to working at Big Sky Area, Montana in the future. 

There are few way you can find your second jobs after starting your first jobs under permission of first employer. So far our RR superior is very nice, she encourage us find the second jobs as long as did not affect for the first job. Your second jobs can either working outside or just working with your first employer but different department. 

FYI, my second job is as a deli prep at Roxy's Market while third job is as a cook-prep/chef at Lotus Pad Thai Cuisine. Both outside at Big Sky Town Centre.

You can join some FB group for more second job opportunities. Those restaurant/resort in that area will do posting once have any available position!

Overall Living Expense in USA?

Around 3.5 months there I just spent figure 174.03 USD for living expense. This is due to my second jobs and third jobs employer cover my working meals as well, so in facts I spent nothing there just sometimes go out to eat as reward for our own or buy something cook for lunch. For the living expense breakdown, you may refer to this link for the part Work & Travel Living Expense (USD):

Besides, Big Sky Town Area have a food bank centre that provided free food and winter clothes. It's actually help us a lot in saving costs.

For more details can view the link:

Any Culture events/ trips that I joined/go for when working life at RR ?

Even our employer RR is no cover for ski-pass, but those culture events they still will organise for us as well, some cover by them while some cover by our own.

1. Yellowstone National Park Tours 

This is a must go trip if you working at Montana States. It's a very good experience for me even is cover by my own. My first time visit the national park by a snowcoach. I book the Old Faithful Snowcoach Tours via Yellowstone Alpen Guides. They won't listed out for the tours cost, I did email to enquiry and booking last time.

The highlight of the tours is as below:

  • Old Faithful, the star of Yellowstone and the best-known geyser in the world. You can almost set your watch by the eruptions that occur about every 90 minutes—you won’t want to miss it.
  • Lower Geyser Basin, home to geysers, hot springs and mud pools—including the often-photographed Fountain Paint Pots.
  • Firehole Canyon, cut through 800-foot lava flows. In the summer, park visitors are drawn to the waterfall and swimming hole, but in winter it’s a quiet, beautiful place to explore.
  • Price: 194.35 US$, Fee include tours & transport pick up at RR, exclude lunch. (Reservation Required)

2. Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures 

One of my best experience in winter while working in RR. Thanks our employer for cover this events for us, we can enjoy it in no cost payment. This activities is super cool and freeze. Imagine below 0 degree celsius and you sled inside the snow was like “OMG, I can't feel my face and leg anymore due to the freeze! Yes' it's freeze not only cold.”

The highlight of the tours as below:
  • 2.5 hour dog-sledding trip, on private groomed trail network, in a beautiful and remote region located between Big Sky Resort and West Yellowstone, Montana.   
  • They provide a comfortable base-camp, of a heated canvas wall-tent, a roaring camp-fire and hot drinks and snacks for your enjoyment before, mid-way, and after your dog-sledding experience.   
  • Guests get the opportunity to learn to drive their own dog sled team, and/ or ride with a guide.
  • PRICE :  235 US$ per adult / 150 US$ per child 12 & under  (Reservations Required)
For more details please visit :

3. Lone Mountain Ranch Sleigh Ride Dinner 

This is one of the culture events you can't be missed up too if working at Big Sky Area. The sleigh ride dinner at Lone Mountain Ranch has become legendary. Popular to both locals and travelers from far and wide, it is a magical experience for the entire family/friends. Thanks for my employer RR for cover this dinner cost for us too. 😌💙

The highlight of the dinner as below:
  • Guests load up in a horse drawn sleigh and are taken on an enjoyable ride to an oil-lantern-lit cabin for a family-style prime rib dinner.  It will be a dinner experience that you will never forget. 
  • Available December to March yearly.  
  • The menu includes sea salt dinner rolls, potato leek soup, and a full prime rib dinner with all the trimmings. Dessert (often huckleberry cobbler) is included, and beer and wine are available for purchase.
  • Singer with nice music, good ambience.
  • Price: Around 120 US$. (Reservation Required)

4. Gallatin Riverhouse Restaurant

Founded in 2013, the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill has just as long been ranked among the town’s top go-to spot for locals and travelers alike. One of the restaurant just beside our working resort RR, famous with it's grill and chicken wings. I think I had go twice in my working life in RR, one for random teatime, one for CNY dinner.

The highlight of the meals as below:
  • Prepared in the authentic Texas Hill Country style, their barbecue is dry rubbed with own house-made blend of seasonings and spices. It’s then slow smoked at a low temperature for 12 to 18 hours over hand-cut mesquite wood. Paired with homemade sides, like beans, corn, coleslaw and cornbread, it’s the perfect comfort food.
  • You’ll find appetizers, burgers, BBQ sandwiches and massive BBQ entrees here. Their ribs are said to be the best outside of Texas.
  • The Gallatin Riverhouse Grill sits right on the river, you won’t be able to get enough of the views.
  • You can hear live local country music while you eat your dinner on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • The Gallatin Riverhouse Grill is open daily at 3PM.
  • Price: Average 10 to 40 US$. 
For more details please visit:

5. Christmas Party RR and BIG SKY CHRISTMAS STROLL

One of the most important events that in Winter Work and Travel is Christmas.

Christmas Party is the events depend on your own employer. No cost needed just need spent to buy Xmas gift. Our Xmas dinner last time is cook by our superior, very authentic meals like turkey, bacons, mash potatoes, long beans etc. I learnt a new culture here for Xmas is burn marshmallow.

Big Sky Christmas Stroll is one of the events will be carry out yearly at Big Sky Town Centre.
There’s lots to celebrate in Big Sky at the annual Christmas Stroll. Highlights of this festive evening include the tree lighting ceremony, photos with Santa, illuminated cross country ski/fat bike trails and walkways, sleigh/wagon rides, classic holiday films on the big screen at Lone Peak Cinema, carolers, music, good cheer, fireworks, and more!

6. Winter Hotspring experience in RR

Imagine you are enjoy the hot-spring outdoor while there is snowing?
冬天里泡温泉♨️ 初体验真的很棒。
This is one of my real comfort and great experience when working in RR. Due to we are employee, we just experience in our superior housing. But if you are guest, you can experience in the RR pools.

For more details please visit:

PS: 我觉得这趟打工之旅唯一的遗憾 就是没有去滑到雪 因为skipass真的太贵了。不过最后我安慰自己,没关系将来可以去日本滑。 😂

How Much I Had Earn ?

The total earning of mine can be refer to this link for the part Work & Travel Earning(USD)

I earn more than I expected due to I work for 3 jobs, people will feel harsh after listening. But in facts, I am enjoying the working life there, not tired due to mindset problem I think. 😆 Before departure I just aim 8k USD, but final income is literally shocked me. Don't learn me, haha. I will work hard like this due to I plan go to Canada & Amsterdam after end my USA trips. At the same times I also hope cover back program fee I paid before departure, so excited at last I made it!! 👏

It's depend on what is your purpose of going there. My purpose last time of going there is plan to experience USA culture and working life, travel around USA in lowest budget. While some of my friend is more to "Once get earning, on the spot spent & enjoy". So when travelling they plan just travel 1-3 weeks rather than 1 months. It's depend on personal :)

So if you just plan travel 1-3 weeks, 8k USD is much enough to cover your whole trips and maybe you still able to bring back the money cover your program fee.

Since the program is encourage us to experience US culture and enhance worldwide eyesight, don't forgot go to enjoy instead of working. 😊

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  1. very detailed and informative sharing, thanks!