I am looking for comments from anyone who has worked at a National Park during the summertime. Please tell me about your experience.
I've worked at several, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Mt. Rainier. It was the experience of a lifetime. I suggest to all my friends to send their kids to work in a National Park. It's a growing experience and teaches you to adapt to new surroundings, people, local customs and cultures. It doesn't matter how old you are. They have jobs for everybody. All it takes is your time to apply and a willingness to work in a tourist environment.
Typically, at national parks you may work for the concession company or the park service. The concession company will supply customer services like motels, restaurants, transportation, gift shops, etc. Park service seasonal jobs vary, you may be a gate attendant, trail crew, general maintenance, nature talks, etc. You need no experience to get a job, but it may mean you are making beds or washing dishes. Working in the national parks is not necessarily about the job, it's more about having the opportunity of living in a place that others pay to visit! You will have ample time to become intimate with the park and its secrets. The bigger parks may offer more job choices, but smaller parks may be less congested and more enjoyable in your free time. Grand Canyon is big ... Sequoia and Mt. Rainier were relatively small. I loved working at them all. Go for it!
Late winter is when many national parks start accepting applications for summer jobs. For information about summer outdoor jobs in the national parks and elsewhere, explore the resources on my Outdoor Job Opportunities page.