Individual Volunteers

A volunteer stands behind a visitor center front desk.
A volunteer stands behind the front desk at the Oasis of Mara Visitor Center.

NPS / Renata Harrison


Position-based volunteers

Position-based volunteers live within commuting distance from the park and typically volunteer at least 16 hours per month. These volunteers work closely with park staff on long-term projects. Preference is given to those with experience, though it is not necessary. Park housing is not available. These positions are posted at various times throughout the year. Please visit to apply.

Project Description Time Requirements

Desert Plant Science Team

Hike to secluded areas with park staff to measure Joshua Trees for scientific analysis.

October - April Weekdays

Must hike up to 3 miles on steep and uneven terrain.

Entrance Ambassador

Assist visitors at the park entrance station by checking passes and providing information.

September - May Weekends and holidays

Must stand for 3-8 hours.

Invasive Plant Patrol

Report invasive species and assist in removal.

During weed season, typically March - May

Must work independently and attend quarterly group meetings.

Bird Surveys

Help park staff survey climbing areas for raptor nests and bird species.

January - May

Must hike up to 5 miles of steep and uneven terrain, must be comfortable with rock scrambling.

Physical Science

Travel to mines; measure night sky, soundscape, and air quality with park geologists.

September - May Weekdays
Must commit long-term

Must hike up to 6 miles on steep and uneven terrain, must be comfortable with rock scrambling.


Residential volunteers

Residential volunteers work at least 32 hours each week, including weekends and holidays, and must commit at least 2 months. Campsites are provided. The park typically posts these positions in mid-late summer. Please visit to apply.

Project Description Time Requirements
Climber Steward Work closely with the park climbing ranger to maintain climbing areas and relationships with the climbing community. October - May Must be an experienced climber.
Campground Host Work closely with our fees and protection rangers to assist visitors within the park’s campgrounds. September - May Must provide RV or trailer that uses 30 amps or less, must be comfortable living without cell service.
Keys Ranch Caretaker Work closely with our cultural resource and interpretation rangers to monitor this remote park site. September - May Must provide RV or trailer, must be comfortable without hookups, must be comfortable living in remote areas without cell service.

Volunteer internships

Volunteer internships are available on a case-by-case basis, depending on park needs and internship requirements. These internships are unpaid with limited housing available. Interns must provide their own reliable transportation. Contact the park volunteer coordinator at 760-367-5507 or by email ( to inquire.

Internships at Joshua Tree National Park are more often offered through partner associations, including Americorps and the Student Conservation Association. These internships are managed by those partners, so check availability and to apply on their websites.

The Geoscientists-in-the-Parks

The Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) program works with partners to match college students and recent graduates age 18 - 35 years old with short-term, paid internships with the National Park Service. These internships occur in spring and fall. Please visit the GIP webpage for more information.


Last updated: September 17, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


(760) 367-5500

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