A group of volunteers stands in front of the Manzanita Ranger Station
In 2022, Grand Canyon Hikers and Backpackers Association volunteers partnered with Canyon District VRP and IRE Rangers to address deferred maintenance at the Manzanita Ranger Station and Bunkhouse.

NPS Photo

National Park Service Volunteer patch is circular with the words "volunteer" in white letters against a green outer circle. An inner circle is navy blue and has an NPS arrowhead graphic with a bison, a tall tree, and a snow-covered mountain positioned wit

How to Apply

Grand Canyon National Park is served by hundreds of volunteers each year..

You can help Grand Canyon in a variety of ways from enhancing visitor services to sharing your specialized expertise to help protect and preserve park resources.

To find out about current volunteer opportunities

in Grand Canyon National Park, log on to https://www.volunteer.gov/


If you have applied or are interested in applying for a volunteer vacancy, we recommend you contact the volunteer coordinator listed on the opportunity for the most current information regarding recruitment and operations. We value our volunteers and appreciate your continued interest in serving the nation.

  • Once you have completed the on-line application process from the above website, your completed application will be reviewed by a hiring official and compared with other applications for the same volunteer job.

  • A supervisor will contact you directly if your skills meet that position's requirements, and if you are being considered for a volunteer position.

  • If selected, more information about the job appointment, uniform, etc. will be sent to you.

For additional information about volunteer opportunities in Grand Canyon National Park, please email our Volunteer Office.


Preventive Search and Rescue

Our Preventive Search and Rescue (PSAR) volunteers here at Grand Canyon are an invaluable asset for ensuring hikers travel safely into the canyon. Every season they contact tens of thousands of visitors and provide necessary aide to those struggling to complete their hike. The video below showcases a few of the amazing volunteers who help make this program possible.

If interested in applying for this program, email the PSAR program directly here.
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4 minutes, 40 seconds

Preventative search and rescue volunteers travel all across the country to be with us here at Grand Canyon throughout the summer, and into the fall to provide important messaging to our visitors down in the canyon. They tell people about what to do when they get sick, how to help each other out. They often have  to give out salty snacks, extra water or assistance, to get people out of the canyon. We really couldn't do what we do here in our Preventative Search and Rescue program without our volunteers.


Alternative Breaks

Spend your spring or summer break doing service work at a national park. For more information about Alternative Break visit, https://alternativebreaks.org/.

Alternative Break Citizenship School

Grand Canyon's Volunteer Progam wrapped up a week-long experiential training session for college studetns with the Alternative Break Citizenship School. Approximately 75 students from over 40 colleges participated in educational sessions and hands on service work at the park July 22 to 26, 2019.

Victor Unit Volunteer Program

Our Victor Unit Volunteer Program is a 6 month volunteer LE, EMS, and SAR oriented program supporting South Rim Patrol at Grand Canyon National Park.

This program is for graduates of an accredited Seasonal Law Enforcement Academy who have attained/or are working to attain a National Registry EMT certification. The program is not active at this time (2024)

More Volunteer Videos


Open Transcript 


Project: Corridor Food Replacement Project Narrator: Matthew Jenkins, Park Ranger Document: Final text for video

Narrator: Emma Norton was one of over 44,000 people that camped in Grand Canyon National Park’s “Corridor” campgrounds in 2017. During her stay at Bright Angel Campground, she learned from a ranger that wildlife struggle because food and trash are not properly stored. At the time of her visit, the park service provided military-style ammo-cans for campers to store their food, trash, and scented equipment.

In autumn 2017, Emma reached out to the National Park Service and expressed her desire to help the park better protect wildlife and increase Leave No Trace education. In September 2018, the new boxes were flown by the park helicopter to Cottonwood, Indian Garden, and Bright Angel Campgrounds. They were received by Emma and the backcountry rangers.

What follows is Emma’s story. What can you do to help ensure the long-term preservation and sustainability of Grand Canyon’s irreplaceable resources?

Emma Norton: My name is Emma Norton and I’m from Gilbert, Arizona. I’m a senior in high school and I go to Chandler Preparatory Academy.

So, my first trip to the bottom was September of my Sophomore year. We went down South Kaibab and up Bright Angel. I think we stayed in the bottom for about two nights and we got to be in the creek and see a waterfall and that was a lot of fun. And, I really enjoyed going down because you get to see all of the views. And, then going up sometimes you’re staring at your feet a lot so you get to play that mental game of pushing yourself.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is very similar to an Eagle Scout. My Gold Award Project with the Grand Canyon started the last time that I came to visit. The Ranger came through to do the night checks in the campgrounds and he was talking to our group about the state of the wildlife and the vegetation in the park

… What tells you what you can do to help protect the park is very old is those big ammo cans with the stickers on them and it is really hard to read them. They are very … The have a lot of holes in them. So what I wanted to do was replace them, get new stickers, have a fresher look. We got to even bring in new bigger boxes and we also did a series of social media on Facebook about the principals of Leave No Trace.

My favorite Leave No Trace post would probably be the last one because it has that big number of how many people come to the park every year and I just think that is incredible.

I absolutely think visitors have a responsibility to help protect the park. The parks are also theirs and so there is only so much the rangers can do. So if they want to be able to come back to them, if they want their children to be able to come back to them, then they have to do what they can to be able to protect them.

I think I will remember most two things (1) one, being down here, getting to meet all of the rangers, meet everyone who I worked with for a really long time but I only got to talk with them over the phone and then (2) also just those hours that I did spend on the phone in my room by myself looking at the computer, looking at my notebook, and just having those conversations.

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3 minutes, 28 seconds

During the fall of 2018, Grand Canyon backcountry rangers collaborated with high school volunteer, Emma Norton, to replace the food storage boxes in Bright Angel, Indian Garden, and Cottonwood Campgrounds. As a result of her contributions to the park, Emma was awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award. This video tells the story of the project and Emma's contributions. To learn about volunteer opportunities with the National Park Service visit: https://www.volunteer.gov/

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1 minute

An alternative break volunteer from Northern Vermont University, tells when she realized how picking up litter can help protect wildlife. An alternative break is a trip where a group of college students engage in direct service, typically for a week.

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1 minute

An alternative break volunteer from the University of Virginia tells about working in the parks plant nursery, and some of the things she learned about. An alternative break is a trip where a group of college students engage in direct service, typically for a week.

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46 seconds

An alternative break volunteer from Wartburg College in Iowa, shares some reasons why she likes to return every year. An alternative break is a trip where a group of college students engage in direct service, typically for a week.


VOLUNTEERS – The Art of Giving, in a Green Shirt

By George Jacobi, park volunteer and author of the Inspiration Point Blog

They come in all sizes and colors, and they come from all around the country. Some are still in High School, and some are long retired. Volunteers - at the Grand Canyon and the other parks - are crucial now to the success of the National Park system. You'll see them in their green shirts with the NPS patch and name badge, smiling and working to help you have a good experience. Last year, in 2015, there were 1504 volunteers that spent time here at Grand Canyon.

Count me in the 'retired' category. As the writer of this blog, I usually go around here in disguise, but yesterday I dressed up to play Volunteer Ranger. Green shirt, tan slacks and hat with the logo, backpack with extra water, and the Pocket South Rim Map. Yeah, the map is crucial. "Where are we, Ranger?"

I had a good time despite my affliction: a tendency toward benevolent anarchy (Haven't worn a uniform since Boy Scouts). The people that needed direction were friendly. The people that were playing with the squirrel looked blankly at my efforts to explain what dangerous behavior that was. And I tried, as I do on every walk, not to look at the dozens of snapshot-takers poised on the very edge of the cliff. No thanks, just don't want to actually see it happen. There was a great joy, though, the kind a teacher knows, in explaining something that you are enthusiastic about and having the recipients get it.

"I'm absolutely passionate about the canyon." Our friend Nettie Klingler is a Volunteer here in Interpretation, who loves the job for both its sense of community - and its peace and quiet! The chance to do programs for appreciative people, research the historic figures she portrays, and not least, the opportunity to hike at will in a spectacular place all add up. "I'll stay as long as they have me!"

During the summer season, volunteers are everywhere. You might not see them, though, off to the side chipping brush with a chain saw, driving an ambulance, or in the Clinic. They do trail maintenance or housing rehab. Wildlife monitoring. Invasive species removal. Search and rescue, fire protection, archaeological and geological research. Or work in the Science Building, the Museum, or the Research Library. You'll interact with the volunteers that staff desks and lead guided walks and programs. Younger volunteers learn and grow as students and leaders and are inspired to care for the national parks. I watched this happen, and saw them thanking the Interpretation staff for the opportunity.

The effort to maintain the integrity of the entire resource, and to make it available and interesting to visitors without compromising it, goes on all the time.

Those volunteers last year put in 86,577 hours and were worth over 2 million dollars to this park alone! And I'm not even adding in the contributions made by paid interns. In a world where the National Parks function with fewer employees than they had in 2002, well, don't be afraid to thank a volunteer, whether you need help or not. The Grand Canyon would not be so enjoyable and functional without them. Got some time? Maybe YOU want to join in –it's special here.


Why Are You Wearing a Green Shirt?

By former Volunteer in Park, Sara Officer

Do you work here? How did you get this job? We are volunteers.

My colleagues range in age from 18-75 and work in natural resources, interpretation, maintenance, even the park's library. We come from all walks of life and have very different goals. One of us has spent over 20 years working as a resource protection volunteer at Phantom Ranch, while another works in the warehouse. A cadre of condor watchers spent more than 1,400 hours observing a nest from the South Rim. The one characteristic we all share is our love of Grand Canyon.

One of the challenges of coming to a new area is learning enough to help visitors appreciate and understand the park and its mission. Volunteers receive training, but most of the in depth learning comes from reading and working with rangers who share their insights and knowledge.

It is a joy for me to get up each morning and drive or walk the rim to work. The serenity and ever-changing beauty give me great satisfaction. I love to share the stories of this magnificent place. The interest of others gives me energy to keep going. In what other job or volunteer position could I combine all the things I enjoy?

I have talked with hundreds of visitors and have hiked the canyon trails while in uniform to provide a presence, some extra water, or words of encouragement to hikers. My challenge each day is to find ways to make visitors' experiences better.

The next time you see a volunteer in a green shirt with a National Park Service volunteer patch on the sleeve, know that we want to answer your questions or tell you what we are doing here. We do not take the place of park employees, but supplement and assist them in any way we can. We are prepared, well informed, and love our jobs.

Last updated: July 9, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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