Working in Yellowstone

Reflections from Do-Donna

I really enjoyed my workcamping experience working at Bridge Bay Campground. Bridge Bay is across the street from Yellowstone Lake.  The main activity is fishing and boating so there is less traffic than the Old Faithful and Canyon Lake areas. However, with 431 spaces it provides the largest combination of tent and RV camping in the park. We were busy all summer and as a Guest Service Agents (checking people into the campground) it is a non-stop day and evening.

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Working in Yellowstone affords many opportunities to meet people from around the US and internationally and also to commune with the bison and elk that took up residence in the campground.  I really enjoyed photographing and drawing the wildlife, summer flowers and hiking some of the nearby trails. I won’t say that there weren’t difficult guest but they were few and far between. The five months went by fairly quickly with it transitioning from four foot snow drifts in May to thunder hail (our term) in July to thunder snow (again our term) in September. All I can say is that it couldn’t have been to bad — because we are going back for the summer of 2020!!

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Reflections from Jo-Jowanna

Donna and I had different jobs at Yellowstone.  I was a Senior Guest Services Agent.  The responsibilities included being the shift supervisor, assigning campsites for future reservations, run reports, open or close the office each day and solving guest problems that the Guest Services Agent could not as well as checking in guests.

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We worked for the contractor Xanterra who is responsible for lodging at Yellowstone.  We found the process to apply was straight forward.  Our compensation included wage for all hours worked, a discounted campsite will full hookups, free laundry.  We could have also chose to get the meal plan for the Employee Dining Room (EDR) but we have our own kitchen so that was not necessary.  Many seasonal employees live in the dorm style housing.  I cannot speak to that since we lived in our RV.  Other perks included an Employee Recreation Program (ERP) that includes a gym.  I loved that because it was too cold to work out outside on many days.  The folks in ERP also lead hikes, sports programs, education talks and other social activities.  I would have never met my hiking goal without the ERP.

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Pros of job:

  • The work was easy.  You welcome the guest to Yellowstone and check them in.  You are also a resource for the park.  I would ask the guest what they wanted to see; then I would make recommendations if they asked.
  • Spending all four seasons in the park.  Seeing spring births, summer flowers, mating season to winter snows.
  • Same day off as your spouse.  Donna and I did not always work the same shift.  That was not important to us.  We always got our main days off.
  • We were able to work with AmeriGas to get our propane delivered.  Not having to move your RV to get propane was a big bonus.
  • Meeting lots of different people.

Cons of job:

  • Wifi is non-existent at Bridge Bay.  Be prepared to go back to the 1980s for communication.  It was okay with us until the end of the season when we were trying to set up reservations for our travel outside of the park.
  • It is almost two hours to get to a grocery store.  We knew this before we took the job.  We came in with five weeks worth of food so that we wouldn’t have to take the trek as often.  It gave us a reason to leave the park.

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It was an overall rewarding experience.  I got to go into parts of the park that I have never experienced before.  We are excited to be returning for the summer of 2020.  Have you worked at Yellowstone?  If so, what was your experience like?

 

More about Yellowstone: Tips on Visiting Yellowstone

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2 Comments on “Working in Yellowstone

  1. Wow that sounds like fun. I have only been to Yellowstone when I was a teenager. I loved seeing Old Faithful. Beautiful Park also

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