Last summer I lived and worked in Yellowstone National Park for three months. I didn’t make much money, but the experiences I had were some of the best in my memory. I worked as a rooms inspector, a position just higher than a housekeeper, in one of the Canyon Village lodges. Thanks to this job I was able to hike over two hundred miles of some of the United States best land and see some incredible animals and land features.
I found the job listing on Craigslist, look it can be a reliable source, and applied as a recent college graduate. I got a response/interview just a couple weeks later and was given the $10/hr job. You pay around $400/month for food and housing, both of low standard, hopefully they will consider upgrading these standards soon, but I wouldn’t count on it. So, clearly the job is for the opportunity to live in a location you never could otherwise, not the money. Of course there are other options for living in Yellowstone, a long vacation, forest service, biological studies, tour guide, or work your way up to a higher position in the company, but if you’re still in school or your field of study does not apply, like me, this is a good option to make your national park dreams come true!
The work was tiring, but my coworkers and I became a tight-knit group, an interesting thing to experience after graduating college. Many of my coworkers were international students working abroad for the summer. I made close friendships with people from Thailand, Colombia, Turkey and Australia. Another perk almost exclusive to this job. I even went to visit my Thai friends later that year. There was always someone ready to go on a long hike with you and an endless number of easy to difficult hikes ready to be conquered. I still have hikes I want to do in Yellowstone, like Electric Peak. Although the job did not pay highly, it was some income, so it was a convenient way to travel without stressing about money. It was also great to have a place to live and steady friends, an option you might not have if you are just traveling.
Other than being a great money saver, it gave my friends and family a good reason to visit me. At the end of the summer, I was thrilled to take my family and two of my friends around my favorite hikes and sites in Yellowstone, such as Mount Washburn, The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Firehole River, and Picnic Trail. I had the pleasure of knowing a lot about the area and they had the pleasure of getting a great tour guide. In the future, I would like to work in a National Park in another country. I think it’s a great way to travel and see the best a country has to offer.