2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – November/December 2005

Yosemite @ $7.38 An Hour: Seasonal Work in the National Parks

Our scribe-turned-pizzaman labors in the land of granite and pulls back the curtain on the seasonal-employment fantasy.

by: Larry Gallagher

It's immediately clear this will be a colorful week. At 26, Boris is spending his fourth summer here. This three-month job constitutes the entirety of his annual fiscal strategy. Last year he took in $8,000, minus the $2,000 he paid his "agent" in Slovenia for processing his "student" work- exchange application and getting him a plane ticket.

Boris's earnings finance his globetrotting, and he's delighted with the current state of understaffing. He's well beyond 40 hours this week, his $7.38 an hour bumped up to $11.07. At one point he turns to me and gleefully reports: "I make more than president of Sri Lanka!"

If you work in Yosemite, you probably work for the Delaware North Company, one of many private concessionaires that run everything from luxury hotels to garbage collection to whitewater-rafting operations in most national parks. Yes, there are other gigs in the valley. But National Park Service jobs are harder to come by, and the other, smaller concessions employ only a few handfuls of people. I came in with the blessing of DNC's PR department, which set me up with a cabin, a meal card identifying me as Associate A7284, and a uniform. I arrived just after the height of the spring rush.

Before coming, I mentioned my mission to a friend. Jarratt, who worked his college summers at Yosemite, was only too happy to download me with bad attitude toward his former employer, reverse-engineering the company acronym as "Does Not Care" and "The Devil Needs Cash." Given how jaundiced Jarratt's perspective is on most other earthly phenomena, though, I didn't pay it much mind.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Jan 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing your experience.I enjoyed it. :)


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
PTB time is upon us, agree?
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World
The Political Arena
At what age did you come back....
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: Ecocentric

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions