The Grand Canyon, Arizona. Credit: MD.

Do you dream of large spaces and want to spend your summer in the heart of a dream landscape? In the United States, it is quite possible to fill the desire for adventure that lies dormant in you. Every year, many nature enthusiasts visit one of the 59 national parks in the 27 states of the country. But there are also regional parks, sometimes more accessible. In all, there are 408 regional and national parks throughout the country.

The US national parks are under the tutelage of the National Park Service. Each year, national parks hire thousands of seasonal workers for the summer. To apply, you must hold a work permit or a J-1 Work and Travel visa (also known as J1 Exchange Visitors). The latter is dedicated to foreign students wishing to come to the United States for a seasonal job.

Cook, waiter, tour guide … Here are some ideas for visiting US national parks with a little job in your pocket.

Work in a restaurant

National parks often have restaurants and lodges. It is thus possible to find a summer job as a server. Located in Maine, in the heart of Acadia National Park, the historic Jordan Bond House Restaurant looks for seasonal food at several restaurants. It is possible to apply online. For those who have already had management experience, some restaurants offer managerial positions, such as Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite National Park. Finally, be aware that national parks often look for cooks to help in hotels and lodges. Housing and food are often taken care of. More information here.

Become a guide or accompanist

You are athletic ? The Grand Canyon annually hires bike guides for Bright Angel Bicycle and Cafe. Unique experience required: be sociable, know how to ride a bike and learn about the Grand Canyon to present several hikes to tourists. If you have experience in riding, know that many parks seek equestrian guides. Zion National Park hires riders to help during the tourist season within Zion Mountain Ranch. For mountain lovers, Snow Mountain Ranch, located in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, is looking for instructors to coach rafting and canyoning groups. For more information, visit the Rocky Mountains seasonal job site. Finally, for those who dream of visiting Alaska, Princess Cruises is looking for seasonal workers to work on the many cruise ships that sail the Yukon.

Working on a ranch in Wyoming or Colorado

Do you dream of spending a summer in the middle of a ranch? Many national parks are looking for seasonal workers interested in farm work. There are hundreds of job vacancies across the country. If you want to live the real life of cowboy, Wyoming or Colorado have many ranches: in the heart of Yellowstone, Wyoming, Heart Six Ranch offers many summer jobs related to ranching. It is also possible to spend three months at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado.

Summer in Alaska

Alaska is the largest state and has 5 of the largest national parks in the country. For adventurers, the opportunities are not lacking. Located near Denali National Park The Den Wolfel Kennel is looking for people to care for sled dogs for their tourist activities, all year round. No experience is required. Close to Katmai National Park and Preserve, Red Salmon Cannery hires motivated volunteers year-round to work in one of the many salmon fishmongers. The experience is unique and allows you to discover Bristol Bay, nicknamed the salmon capital of the world. Many companies are also looking for tour guides.


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