Yosemite Leadership Program Internships

YLP Intern working on a vegetation and ecological restoration project.
Yosemite Leadership Program intern working on a vegetation and ecological restoration project.

Change yourself. Change the park.

The mountains of Yosemite are the setting for the Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship (YLPSI), a summer of leadership, professional development, and stewardship.

Learn job skills working alongside rangers in one of a variety of specialties. Previous years’ interns have worked with either engineering, wilderness, restoration, compliance, IT, education, interpretation, or safety, among others. Read through the internship descriptions for 2024.

Build networks and develop your leadership style during weekly seminars hosting leaders from the Yosemite National Park community.

Explore the park and learn outdoor skills during structured hikes and backpack trips.

Strengthen Yosemite. Each summer the park hosts UC Merced students and up to two previous Youth in Yosemite participants (Adventure Risk Challenge, Parks in Focus, NatureBridge, YCC, and WildLink). Because UC Merced students are the most ethnically and culturally diverse among all University of California campuses, YLPSI interns bring life experience, insights and perspectives that always enrich Yosemite’s workforce, greatly benefiting the park and the public we serve.

This internship provides direct pathways to employment. Upon successful completion of the YLPSI program and college graduation, participants are eligible for non-competitive Direct Hire Authority with the federal government for two years.

Life in Yosemite

  • A stipend of $150 per week is included in each internship. Educational award of $6,000 upon successful completion of the program.

  • Housing is provided at no cost by the Yosemite Conservancy and is located in Wawona, CA. Rooms are shared.

  • Shopping is available 45 minutes away.

  • Free shared backpacking and outdoor equipment is available to check-out.

  • Vehicles are available for work-use only.


  • February 11, 2024: Application period closes

  • Mid-February: Interviews take place

  • February 27: Pre-internship meeting

  • May 20: Interns arrive at the park for orientation

  • August 6: Interns present at a YLPSI symposium

  • August 9: Interns check out of housing

How to Apply

Determine if you qualify. Currently enrolled UC Merced students, and previous participants in any Youth in Yosemite programs such as Youth Conservation Corps, NatureBridge, WildLink, Adventure Risk Challenge, Parks in Focus, and Youth Conservation Corps, are eligible.

Jennifer and Rachel sitting by river after settling into housing

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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