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Old 03-13-2021, 07:37 AM   #1
daveinaz
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Big Bend NP or Yellowstone NP?

Has anyone worked/volunteered at either Big Ben or Yellowstone? I had interviews with both. Still waiting to hear back. The season at Yellowstone is from mid-May to Oct 31st. The time they want me at BB is May 1 - July 31.

BB is HOT, and isolated. YNP certainly won't be hot, but the opposite. I really want to try YNP but I'm not thrilled about needing to be there for 5.5 months. BB is a volunteer position. YNP pays a low wage but you also pay about $150 a month for your rv spot.

I've applied at some other place too but these are the ones that have called so far.

Just curious what ya'll think about BB vs YNP. Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2021, 08:09 AM   #2
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We do not work camp, so that standpoint I can’t help with, but Yellowstone is one of our favorites to visit. Start with what you like to do. Big BenD has some great fishing for bass. Yellowstone has great fly fishing. I would say diversity of wildlife goes to Yellowstone. You are close to Jackson, Wyoming and the artist communities there. You can get snow even in the summer up there. Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Moose, Wolves, Elk, Deer, Goats, Antelope and scenery are unbeatable. Also, thermal features and natural hot springs abound.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:27 AM   #3
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Just curious, where do they let you stay? Is there a designated area with FHU for staff?
The reason I ask is while we were there last summer we drove through the campgrounds. I don't think there was too many we could fit into (35' + TV-22').
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:20 PM   #4
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Just curious, where do they let you stay? Is there a designated area with FHU for staff?
The reason I ask is while we were there last summer we drove through the campgrounds. I don't think there was too many we could fit into (35' + TV-22').
yes, YNP has an employee campground with a few spots that can accomodate my 39' Montana. It is full hookup

and BBNP also has an employee RV area with FHU.
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:37 PM   #5
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I would love YNP but would be hesitant even into Sept, let alone October. Snow comes often (in what I hear) and I would guess hard freeze and snow all of October. I would be worried about getting out of the Park on November 1.
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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I would love YNP but would be hesitant even into Sept, let alone October. Snow comes often (in what I hear) and I would guess hard freeze and snow all of October. I would be worried about getting out of the Park on November 1.
Yes, Those are my concerns exactly. She told me they have snow but get the roads plowed. Still, I donít think I want to be towing that rig under such conditions. I think Iíd rather be out of there the first of September not the first of November!
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Old 03-13-2021, 02:02 PM   #7
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I’ve seen I80 closed before Memorial Day and the middle of September east of Laramie. A friend who lived in Dubois was coming to a shooting match for Memorial Day and didn’t make it. My brother and I was going to Union Pass in September and had a three day wait in Sidney Ne. snow. Strangely enough Dubious has very little snow. At that time of the year the snow doesn’t last long.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:21 PM   #8
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If it was me, Texas in the middle of the summer or nice and cool Wyoming. Let me think this isn’t much of a decision Wyoming every time. On my day off I’d head down to Pinedale or over to Dubois and up on Union Pass for some trout fishing. There are several lakes and creeks up there and every one has trout in them. I think it’s the prettiest place in Wyoming. All the game species in the state are up there. On the Pinedale side you can fish the upper Green River. Union Pass is my favorite place to camp. In the 30s at night and 70s in the day and no one to bother you.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:32 AM   #9
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At the time we stopped going to BB we had hiked every day hike they had including a 20 miler.

We almost always went at Thanksgiving. Summer there is hot unless you are in the basin. There is a reason Texans go North in the summer.
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:25 PM   #10
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Dave,

Have not worked at either place but have visited both. Yellowstone is a zoo - not for the animals but the crazy crowds. Once was enough for Yellowstone. Big Bend is much more peaceful and scenic.
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:35 PM   #11
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Dave,

Have not worked at either place but have visited both. Yellowstone is a zoo - not for the animals but the crazy crowds. Once was enough for Yellowstone. Big Bend is much more peaceful and scenic.
I don't think you can even come close to comparing YNP to Big Bend. I don't remember anything from BB, but I do live in AZ so the scenery is probably similar so wouldn't impress me as much. YNP has hundreds of geysers, etc, mountains, lakes, grizzly bears, buffalo, moose, etc etc.
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:37 PM   #12
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Just a question - what happens if you skip out in, say, September and don't stay full term? Kind of unethical, but curious.
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:32 AM   #13
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Just a question - what happens if you skip out in, say, September and don't stay full term? Kind of unethical, but curious.
Quote:
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Just a question - what happens if you skip out in, say, September and don't stay full term? Kind of unethical, but curious.
Good question.

I have to agree with a lot of the comments here. Being from AZ, BBNP would be similar to here whereas YNP would be much different. Iím sure YNP would be much prettier (to me at least) but obviously WAY more crowded than BBNP ó especially BBNP in their hottest months.

I have since had initial phone interviews with both places. I will probably pull my application for volunteering at BBNP. The ranger I interviewed with said that the head honcho there is very conservative and cautious on the COVID thing and is still requiring that all activity at the visitor center Iíd be running be conducted outside. They would have a canopy area with tables outside the doors of the visitor center and even outside they would still require masks. She mentioned that I would have a long retractable pointer to use for pointing things out on the map for visitors. She said that it would be hot but they wanted me to try to stay cool so she mentioned staying inside the AC of the visitor center then coming out when visitors came up to the tables. And speaking of the heat, it will likely be triple digits down in Panther Junction where Iíd need to park the RV so I should expect it to be warm in the trailer even with the AC. I am not fond of the idea of having the AC run 24/7, working it that hard, and still probably only getting it down to 85 or so in the RV. While I would still enjoy helping at the visitor center there, I donít think that doing so in the desert heat would be very fun ó after all, that why we usually get out of the Phoenix area in the summer if we can. She also mentioned that the usual border crossing area into the Mexican tourist village is closed as is the hot springs area of BBNP ó all due to COVID. So the more I think about BBNP, the less enjoyable it sounds at this point. And since volunteering is supposed to be something you enjoy doing, I think Iíll pull the plug on BBNP until conditions improve.

As for YNP, I would still like to go there but I just donít think I want to be there as late as Oct 31st. Iíd prefer to be out of there by the first of September. It might be different if I was staying in a dorm or apartment there since I would not be so worried about driving out with just a regular vehicle but the idea of having to pull my Montana in the kind of weather they could have in Sept/Oct gives me the willies.

Maybe my best option is to decline both places and just go up to Union Pass on my own like Lynwood talked about.
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Old 03-15-2021, 07:16 AM   #14
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YNP even for just one season would be an amazing experience. I respect the caution you are taking but you wouldn't be the first to pull out an rv at that time of year. I've been on rv trips where weather on mountain passes seemed undrivable. We just drove slowly until we were through it and that was without benefit of snow plows. Anyway, enjoy the freedom you have to go wherever you want!
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Old 03-15-2021, 02:45 PM   #15
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If you were to leave in say, Oct 1, and head to West yellowstone, the drive would be pretty easy - if you stayed around Old Faithful area. It is mostly flat or gentle slopes. Going East would be a challenge. Leaving from the Falls area going West wouldn't be too bad either, assuming they plow and/or salt the road.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:34 PM   #16
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We leave Victor Idaho the first to the fifth of November. If Teton Pass is open we go that way and if not we head to West Yellowstone and then up to Bozeman to get on I90 east. We use to worry about the roads but they are always passable. If your thinking of Yellowstone I would do it this year yet because I think next year our borders will be open to more people and with all the influx of people youíll enjoy it more in 2020.
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:40 PM   #17
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I’m feel like Ron, both are great but for the summer my vote would be for yellowstone!
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Old 03-21-2021, 06:57 PM   #18
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Visited Big Bend the end of May and temps above 100F. On to Benson, Az and we were the only customers in a 100+ site campground. Yellowstone for summer. But the barbed wire museum in Del Rio, Tx could not be beat!
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:14 AM   #19
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My vote is YNP. Have been to both. If the snowy weather freaks you out be sure to have tire chains with you for your truck AND Monty. Chains really make a difference and eliminate sliding around, especially if there is any ice. I have friends that have a summer home near there and they have said the areas main roads are kept clear and plowed. Only exception would be a bad winter storm which may delay your departure but you will be able to get out. During your interview I would express your concerns with them and see what they say. Better to be up front about it for all concerned.
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