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Working in Yellowstone National Park

Updated on September 29, 2013
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Shelby enjoys adventure travel and trying new things. She loves backpacking, camping, snorkeling, and being able to capture moments outdoors

Applying for Work in Yellowstone

Working in Yellowstone National Park is a unique experience. If you have a few months over the summer, you may want to think about working in Yellowstone. So where do you start?

  • Go to to search for open jobs. Their jobs range from retail to housekeeping to food service with everything in between. Read through the job descriptions until you find something that interests you.
  • Apply for the job. You will be asked for your top three job choices. Also, remember to check the box asking if you will work in an entry level job if you're really just wanting to go there to work and don't mind what you're doing.
  • Think about your work dates carefully. When you put in your available work dates, they become your work contract. If you fulfill the entire contract, you'll get a $3 a day bonus for every day you were in Yellowstone whether you worked or were off that day.
  • Apply early. Jobs tend to fill up quickly. The longer your availability, the better chance you have of getting a job. The earlier you apply, the better your chances are as well. You can usually start applying as early as October of the previous year.

You Got the Job!

Once you have received an employment agreement packet and sent it back, you have a job in Yellowstone. Make sure you get all of the paperwork sent back to them in time and filled out correctly. Now that you have your job, what's next?

  • Make travel arrangements. Are you driving, flying, or taking a bus? If you need to book a flight or buy a bus ticket, do it early. You'll save money if you don't wait until the last minute. Chances are, you will fly or ride into Bozeman, Montana. You'll want to arrive the day before your contract states because you will be picked up and driven to the park on your arrival date. Book a hotel for the night in Bozeman. Several hotels in the area are within walking distance of the bus station and give employee discounts.
  • Make a packing list. If you are riding a bus or flying, pack light. Xanterra will provide bed linens when you get there, so you don't have to pack bedding. Make sure you pack clothes for warm and cold weather. If you have an early arrival date, it may still be snowing when you arrive. Nights tend to get cold as well. Don't forget standard things like toiletries, towels, a water bottle, and flashlight. Your employment packet will give you other things you may want to pack as well.
  • Get everything in order before you leave. Depending on where you are going to work, you may not have cell phone service all the time. Make sure you have everything at home in good order before you leave.

Yellowstone National Park

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Once You Get There

Once you're checked in and settling into your new home, do something fun. Remember, the majority of people there are alone and don't know anyone either. Make friends. Ask someone if they want to go hiking or would like to explore the area with you.

Take lots of pictures, both of scenery and people. Memories are easier to remember when you have a picture to go with it.

Do as much as you can. Depending on the location, you will have opportunities to do different activities during the season. If you've got the time, do as many as you can. Hike 100 miles. Swim in the Boiling River. Watch Old Faithful erupt.

Whatever piques your interest, just remember to have fun!

Old Faithful
Old Faithful
Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs
Lower Falls, Canyon
Lower Falls, Canyon

Activity Ideas

  • Hike 100 miles
  • Make a list of animals you want to see and try to get a photograph of each
  • Watch Old Faithful erupt
  • Visit all the locations: Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt, Canyon, Lake, and Grant.
  • Go swimming in the Boiling River outside of Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Play in the snow
  • Get a fishing license and catch a few fish

What activities would you do in Yellowstone?

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