Youth Conservation Corps

Denali National Park and Preserve is offering unique summer employment opportunities to teenagers.

This program is open to all applicants ages 15 through 18. Applicants must have parental consent to participate in the program. Enrollees will be paid a special remote park Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) wage of $13.09 per hour and will work for 8 weeks beginning on or about May 31, 2020 and ending on or about July 25, 2020.

The park will fill as many as 4 YCC positions in 2020 as described below.

Jump to application info, at the bottom of the page.

Position Descriptions


Do You Enjoy Working Outdoors?

Trails Department (1 position)

This position works for the Trails crew of Denali National Park and Preserve. Work is performed outdoors in all weather conditions and is physically challenging. Duties include hiking as many as 8 miles per day with a 20-pound backpack, trail brushing, clearing drains, repairing trail tread, hauling materials, transplanting native vegetation, digging, installing signs, and collecting data. Tool use may include shovels, picks, sledges, rakes, wheelbarrows, and hand tools. This position may include light custodial work. YCCers are responsible for actively participating in safety trainings, adhering to safety policies, and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when required.

  • Position Requirements: must be 16 years old by May 31, 2020, to work 10-hour days
  • Work Schedule: 10-hour days, 4 days per week (Monday - Thursday)

Do you enjoy thinking like a scientist?

Road Ecology and Entomology (1 position)

Enjoy world-class wildlife viewing 2 - 3 days per week while collecting data essential to the park. Collect data using the GPS capability of iPads while riding in concessioner buses traveling the Denali park road. Collect data on wildlife observations, wildlife behavior, and management indicators (the number of vehicles at wildlife stops, rest stops, and visitor centers, and amount of time hikers wait before being picked up by a bus). Acute attention to detail and focus are required. For 2 – 3 days per week, assist the park’s entomologist, performing tasks related to the weekly monitoring of plant phenology (seasonal change and growth), bi-weekly insect collecting, insect specimen processing, curation, labeling, and record-keeping, and assisting with insect-related outreach activities.
Optionally: Participate in early-season, ground-based Dall’s sheep surveys. Work will involve weekends and early-morning departures (6 a.m.) from the Denali Bus Depot. Sheep surveys will involve hiking in wilderness and working in grizzly bear habitat.
  • Position Requirements: must be 16 years old by May 31, 2020 to ride transit buses
  • Work Schedule: Flexible: 8 hours, Monday through Friday; or per each two-week pay period, eight, 9-hour days and one, 8-hour day

Do you enjoy sharing Denali National Park and Preserve with others?

Interpretation Division: Denali Visitor Center (DVC) (1 position)

Staff the Denali Visitor Center front desk and provide quality customer service and orientation to park visitors. Work includes answering trip planning questions, sharing safety tips, and working with Junior Rangers. Rove the Denali Visitor Center Campus, Riley Creek Campground, and front country trails to greet visitors, answer questions, share safety tips, and provide informal interpretation. Staff a “touch table” and talk with visitors about park resources (topic and props may be based on employee’s interests). Develop a short talk (as long as 10 minutes) to deliver to visitors at the Denali Visitor Center or at picnic tables at the Savage River. Assist with projects as assigned and shadow park staff in a variety of disciplines. Required are an interest in talking with people and a positive outlook on customer service.
  • Position Requirements: none
  • Work Schedule: per each two-week pay period, eight, 9-hour days and one, 8-hour day; can be flexible, but 9 days every two weeks


Do You Enjoy Working with Dogs?

Kennels (1 position):

Assist with all aspects of care, feeding, exercise, and training of 30-plus active Alaskan huskies weighing between 60 and 90 pounds. Assist with all aspects of dog yard, pen, and equipment maintenance and repairs as needed. Assist with informal interpretation and safety in the dog yard before, after, and between demonstrations for the visiting public. Assist with the safe and smooth delivery of formal interpretive programs and dog sled demonstrations, including handling and harnessing dogs for the sled run. (YCCers do not drive the summer demo sled teams.) Assist with raising and training any puppies born during the work season. This position requires extensive physical labor outdoors in all weather conditions. Applicants must be comfortable working with large, vigorous sled dogs, engaging with park visitors, and performing physical tasks.

  • Position Requirements: none
  • Work Schedule: 8 hours, Monday through Friday

How to Apply

  • Enrollees must be able to commute from home to the program site. Park housing is not available.
  • Important: In the essay question portion of your application, please rate, 1 to 4 (with 1 your top choice), your preferences among the four park areas offering YCC positions for summer 2020: Trails, Road Ecology and Entomology, Interpretation, and Kennels. The park will make selections based on applicants’ desired position priority list and input from school staff. We hope to be able to match applicants with the work experience they desire. If two applicants are equally matched for a position, the park will use a random drawing method to make the selection. The park will give preference to local applicants; first preference will go to local applicants who have not yet participated in YCC, and second preference will go to local applicants who previously have participated in YCC. Applicants who are not local then will be considered.
  • Download and complete the YCC application form. Application forms are also available from the Denali National Park and Preserve Human Resources Office and from all high school guidance offices in the Denali Borough School District.
  • Please return applications in person or mail to:

Attn: Cass Ray, Human Resources Office
National Park Service--YCC
P. O. Box 126
Denali Park, AK 99755

  • Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, March 4, 2020 or received by the Human Resources Office at Denali National Park and Preserve by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Mailed applications must be received by Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to be considered for positions. Applicants will be contacted starting March 12, 2020.
  • Individuals selected for participation in the program must have a Social Security number. Social Security card applications are available from the Social Security Office located at 101 12th Ave., Fairbanks, and should be filed as soon as possible to allow time for processing.
  • For more information about how to apply, please contact Denali YCC Coordinator Cass Ray at Denali National Park Human Resources at (907) 683-9533 or email the Denali Human Resources (HR) Office.

Enrollee Eligibility

Young women and men, 15 through 18 years of age, who are permanent residents of the United States, its territories or possessions, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial, or ethnic backgrounds. To be eligible, youth must:

  • Be at least 15 years of age by May 31, 2020 and not reach 19 years of age during employment as a YCC enrollee;
  • Be permanent residents of the continental United States, its territories, possessions, or trust territories; and
  • Possess a Social Security card and have a work permit before the first working day of the YCC program; the park will process the work permit.
  • Have housing—park housing is not available.

Last updated: February 20, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755


(907) 683-9532
A ranger is available 9 am—4 pm daily (except on major holidays). If you get to the voicemail, please leave a message and we'll call you back as soon as we finish with the previous caller.

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