Volunteer

A park volunteer smiles at the camera.
An Elk Bugle Corps volunteer braving the elements.

NPS / Ann Schonlau

 

Join our team! Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs) are Very Important People! Explore, learn, and share your time and talent while helping us protect this special place! From assisting at visitor centers, to serving as campground hosts, to helping with the Elk Bugle Corps program... and everything in between, the work our volunteers do makes a difference!

Volunteering is an American tradition that has made immeasurable contributions to communities, organizations, and individuals throughout the country. Every year, thousands of individuals contribute their enthusiasm and skills to help the National Park Service preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources and to serve and educate visitors.

Individuals and organized groups are welcome to volunteer. Opportunities are available both for highly skilled professionals and for beginners with little or no experience in land management. The time commitment for volunteer work varies from one-day projects to continuous work extending over months. Drop-in events are also held throughout the year to celebrate special events or Days of Service such as National Public Lands Day in September.

Below you can view the park’s current volunteer opportunities for individuals as well as organized groups.

Still have questions? Browse our frequently asked questions or contact the Volunteer Program Manager at 970-586-1330.

 

Current Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals and Groups

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I sign up to be a volunteer?
All available positions we're currently recruiting for are listed above. If you find a position that interests you, click on it to view the full position description on www.volunteer.gov. There, you will find an "apply now" button associated with each available position. Please apply to any position that you're interested in and available and qualified for. Please note that that many of our volunteer positions do not come with free housing or an RV site. Please check the housing status and availability of the position before you submit an application. Please be as thorough as possible on your application with regards to your experience and qualifications. Keep in mind that some of our volunteer opportunities are competitive. Please provide two references with your application.

How do I find out what is available?
All of our current openings are listed above and on www.volunteer.gov. Please read the information for each volunteer opportunity, determine which position(s) you are interested in, and fill out the application. It is best to select volunteer positions for which you not only have an interest, but also those that match your skills and experiences. Many of our positions are recruited for more than five months prior to their start date. For example, we begin recruiting for the summer in January or February, so it's extremely beneficial to start looking and applying early.

What happens with my application after it is complete?
After completing the application, Volunteer.gov will send an email to the person responsible for supervising the volunteer position to let him/her know an application has been submitted. The supervisor is responsible for selecting volunteers for the particular position. Some supervisors will interview for the volunteer opportunities much like a job, and most will request to speak with references, so please provide two references when applying. For some volunteer positions, a background check is required.

Is there a minimum amount of time I have to volunteer?
Time commitments vary for each position. Some supervisors are looking for volunteers to substitute intermittently, while others require a set one to two day per week commitment. Normally, the minimum hours will be posted on the opportunity announcement. For positions that come with housing, including an RV site, volunteers must commit a minimum of 32 hours/week for at least six weeks. Each volunteer opportunity will list whether or not there is housing available and the amount of time commitment we are looking for.

Is housing (RV site or house) available?
Not all volunteer opportunities come with free housing or a free full-time RV site. It will state explicitly on the Volunteer.gov announcement whether or not housing or an RV site is available for each position. For intermittent volunteers who live one hour or more away from the park, free camping might be available either before or after the day you are assigned to work. Free camping is only available in connection with a scheduled volunteer assignment or project and is extremely limited. No hookups are available for these free campsites and they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Is there a specific uniform for volunteers?
Depending on the position, you may either be required to wear a uniform or allowed to wear your regular clothing. If required, the volunteer uniform consists of dark brown, tan, gray, or black pants, a tan shirt, and a dark brown hat. Volunteers should check with their supervisors to see if they are required to wear a specific color. If not, any of the listed colors are fine. Shirts, hats, and a limited supply of brown pants are available for checkout from the Volunteer Office. You are also welcome to purchase your own pair of brown pants. All volunteers must be clean and look professional.

Can my group volunteer for a project?
We welcome group of volunteers at Rocky Mountain! For summer 2020 inquiries, contact the Volunteer Program Manager at 970-586-1330 after April 1, 2020. Then we'll send you our group volunteer catalog and application. Please contact us at least a month in advance to request a project. We'll do our best to meet your needs and appreciate your flexibility! Also note that most projects have a minimum and maximum group size and a minimum age requirement. The group size might be flexible, especially if we can divide your group into several smaller groups working on separate projects.

What benefits can I expect to receive as a volunteer?
Volunteers receive free admission to the park while volunteering, and may receive free camping or other accommodations as well, depending on the project and its duration (please see the housing question above). Meals are not provided. Anyone who volunteers 250 hours or more will receive an America the Beautiful Pass valid at all Federal Fee Areas. Annually, there is a "volunteer recognition event" where volunteers receive various service awards depending on their hours worked. And, of course, all volunteers have the opportunity to do meaningful work with interesting people in a national park setting!

I am a current volunteer, how can I apply for a new opportunity?
Simply call the Volunteer Program Manager at 970-586-1330 and indicate you are interested in a position listed on the website. The Volunteer Program Manager will then forward the message to the supervisor responsible for selecting volunteers. You may also contact the supervisor of a particular position and express your interest directly to them.

 
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Learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park and how you can help preserve and protect it as a volunteer. View an audio described version: https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/photosmultimedia/audio-described-videos.htm

 

Read the VIP Blog

Want to know more about what volunteers do in Rocky Mountain National Park? Read their stories on our VIP blog.

View the blog

Last updated: August 26, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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