Dorm Life in Yellowstone
It’s one of the most frequently asked questions regarding working a job in Yellowstone: what are the living accommodations like?
In Yellowstone, there are several options regarding employee housing, but the most common option is a dorm. Dorm life can be a great opportunity for bonding with employees from all over the world and creating friendships that last a lifetime. Community living does come with some challenges and being prepared can help your transition.
To help you prepare for what to expect for living in the dorms, we’ve compiled a list of a few expectations.
Roommates: who will I live with?
First and foremost, you will have at least one roommate. For some people, this may not seem like an issue, but for others, sharing a bedroom can be quite an adjustment. You will share your living space with other people. But keep in mind those people are likely there for similar reasons you are, and your roommate(s) can become some of your best friends.
Bathrooms: where do I go?
Most dorm buildings have community bathrooms, meaning everyone shares the same restrooms (the plus side to this arrangement is that a dorm custodian cleans the community bathrooms, meaning you won’t have to worry about it). There are few dorms with two rooms sharing one bathroom and fewer dorms that have private bathrooms.
Noise: will I ever sleep?
Every dorm building enforces quiet hours; some only for evening hours, some 24/7. This is to help ensure that residents can get proper rest for their working hours. The quiet hours are enforced by a Resident Coordinator (RC) and local area security.
Cell Phone & Internet: how will I keep in touch?
WiFi is available in almost every employee residence (Roosevelt Lodge is an exception), but comes through a third-party provider with limited bandwidth, meaning your internet connection won’t always be stable or reliable. There are cellular towers located within the park at Canyon, Mammoth, Grant, Old Faithful, and Lake. Reception varies based on your provider and the service plan you choose
If community living appeals to you, read on for more benefits to living in the dorms.
For one, things like toilet paper, sheets, blankets and pillows are provided for you (though keep in mind you will have to provide your own toiletries).
Better than that, all of your room and board costs are automatically deducted from your paychecks.
Matt Rafferty, a former employee who lived in the dorms, explained the ease living in the dorms offers to residents. He quit his job back home and came to Yellowstone looking for something different, and said he loved how simple it was to live in the dorms, because he never had to worry about it.
“To get to live in a place like this, and yet having housing taken care of, food taken care of, it’s so easy,” Rafferty said. “Any place else, you’re trying to find your own apartment and you have to figure out how you’re going to make ends meet. Here, it’s like, that’s all taken care of, and you can just work and then get outside and have fun.”
Full disclosure: this experience, no matter how incredible, isn’t for everyone.
If you can’t go without stable WiFi, constant cell phone service and having a private bathroom, you might not find a home here.
But remember: you aren’t here to stay in your dorm.
You live and work in one of the most amazing places on earth and Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres are just begging to be explored. Why waste your time in this wonderland by sitting in a room only intended for you to sleep in? Get out there and have the adventures you can’t have anywhere else.
Community living is part of the adventure. Like all experiences in life, it is what you make of it. So choose to make the most of it.
Want to experience Yellowstone in-depth? See what makes Yellowstone National Park a great place to work for a season or longer!