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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Alaska State Parks Volunteer Program and Volunteer Internship Positions

Trail Crew

Note: Please be sure to check the general information page for instructions on how to apply! Click here to return to the list of position types.

TRAIL CREW (6 positions)


The first state park adjoining the only wilderness park in Alaska, combines nearly 400,000 acres of rugged coastal mountains, high peaks, glaciers, river valleys, rain forest, large saltwater lagoons, long stretches of remote beaches, deep bays and fjords and clear mountain lakes. The park also has nearly 150 miles of coastline along two separate water bodies. Kachemak Bay and the Gulf of Alaska (Pacific Ocean). The park’s abundant wildlife includes moose, black bear, mountain goat, wolves, coyote, salmon, bald eagles, porpoises, whales and many species of sea and shorebirds. The nearly 90 miles of trail provide access to alpine areas, river valleys, lakes and glaciers throughout the park. Alpine areas provide nearly unlimited hiking without the need for trails. The park is only accessible by boat or airplane from Homer, Alaska. Crew is transported via Park’s boat.

Main Tasks: Maintain park trails, campsites, and trailheads. Trail maintenance includes chainsaw and brush cutter operation, erosion control, tread work, campsite inspection and maintenance, and trailhead maintenance. Crews will be working and camping in remote settings up to 8-10 days at a time. Other duties may include public contact and assistance, assist with foot and boat patrols, assist with construction and/or repair to any old or new facilities. Training will be provided in all special skill areas.

Special Projects: May be involved with visitor use surveys, inspecting and surveying high use public use areas for visitor impacts, trail reconstruction, and bridge construction. 

Required Skills: Must possess a strong work ethic; able to live and work together with others in a remote setting; be in good physical condition and able to lift and carry tools and packs up to 45 lbs. in weight; working knowledge of basic hand and power tools. 

Desired Skills: Prior trail-crew experience and/or training. Training experience in backcountry travel, camping and survival. First-aid/CPR or higher level certification (current). Experience with basic carpentry, public relations, , and chainsaw operation.

Internship: Preference given to applicants seeking internship through college, working towards degree in park management, resource management, or program designed for careers in outdoor recreation such as Park Ranger or Technician. 

Allowance/Housing: Subsistence payment of $500 per month. Majority of the time will be spent out in the field living in tents and occasionally at the Halibut Cove Lagoon Ranger Station. Field equipment will be available for use during the work week. Shared bunk/living space will be provided in Homer on days off. Bring own sheets, sleeping bag, towels and personal items, etc.

Transportation: Must provide transportation to Homer, Alaska. Arrangements may be made to pick you up in Anchorage around May 15-16. Volunteers will have group use of state vehicle while in Homer on restricted and limited basis for shopping and state business. 

Time Commitment: Preference to applicants who can start approximately May 16th (arrive Anchorage by noon May 15th) and work until August 15th. Some Volunteers may work until September 1 or later depending on weather.

Note: Must receive application by March 15. No applications accepted after March 15th. Selected applicants will be notified by April 15th. Application should include the following: 1) completed state parks volunteer application form, 2) letter of application, 3) resume, and 4) letters of reference. 

Preference given to internships. 

Fun: Those hired are expected to work hard and play, have fun and be safe. Fishing poles and bicycles are available for recreation.

Send Application to: Ranger Jason Okuly

Alaska State Parks
Kachemak Bay District
95 Sterling Highway
Soldotna, AK 99669


phone: (907) 226-4688 
or (907) 435-7595
fax: (907) 262-3717
email: jason.okuly@alaska.gov

TRAIL CREW (2 positions)

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is located in Southcentral Alaska, 67 miles north of Anchorage, in the community of Willow, with a population of over 1,600. Situated on the east side of the broad Susitna River Valley, Nancy Lake SRA has the typical geography formed by the retreat of large glaciers - forested, rolling hills of glacial moraines and countless lakes, ponds, and streams. This recreation area is well known for its canoe trail system and public use cabins. The 22,685 acre park is home to moose, beaver, fox, black bear, waterfowl and many other wildlife species. Summer recreation activities include canoeing, camping, hiking, and fishing.

Main Tasks: The Trail Crew/Ranger Assistant position rotates between front-country and backcountry duties. Maintain public use cabins and backcountry campsites. Contact backcountry visitors and private property owners. Collect visitor use and resource data. Perform trail improvements and maintenance of summer hiking and winter ski trails as well as canoe portages. The area has ten miles of cross-country ski trails and approximately seventeen miles of canoe and hiking trails. Work will include re-building of small bridges, boardwalk construction. Trail Crew/Ranger Assistant may also assist in some campground maintenance as needed. Summer access is by hiking trail, canoe trail, or floatplane.

Special Projects: Monitor backcountry visitor use; serve as the emergency contact for backcountry users. Trail Crew/Ranger Assistant will perform routine maintenance of public use cabins and assist other staff with trail projects as needed. They will also serve as a contact for the private property owners in the area.

Required Skills: Public relations skills, canoe/small boat experience, light maintenance skills, chain saw use and the ability to work independently. Applicants must be able to live in a primitive setting. Due to the remote nature of these assignments, couples are encouraged to apply.

Desired Skills: Education/experience in resource and/or recreation management, carpentry skills, and ability/experience using hand and power tools. Experience in backcountry conditions. Applicants with a valid driver’s license preferred.

Internship: Will assist volunteer in internship requirements and paperwork.

Allowance/Housing: Housing will be in a cabin without running water or electricity. A small motorboat and/or canoe will be provided. A monthly subsistence payment is available with a 60-day commitment to the positions. Radio and cell phone communication is provided. Use of Nancy Lake Ranger Station facilities and front country bunk space provided.

Work Schedule: One backcountry Trail Crew/Ranger Assistant cabin is located at Red Shirt Lake, the other at Butterfly Lake. Work schedule will likely be weekends at remote cabins (Red Shirt and Butterfly) with other 2 work days spent in the front country brushing, mowing, trails, etc.

Time Commitment: Minimum of two months (sixty days), June 15-August 15. Positions can remain open as long as May 15 to September 30 unless weather or other events prohibit longer durations.

Note: Attached résumés are recommended. Applications should be received by March 15.

Send Application to: Ranger Damon Hampel

Alaska State Parks - Mat-Su/CB
7278 E. Bogard Road
Wasilla, AK 99654


phone: (907) 495-6211
fax: (907) 495-6671
email: damon.hampel@alaska.gov


TRAIL CREW (1-2 positions)

The half million acres that make up Chugach State Park are filled with rugged mountains, ice caps, and sweeping glaciers. Wildlife abounds, including brown and black bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, lynx, bald and golden eagles and all five species of salmon. Anchorage has grown up next door to this amazing wilderness where residents and visitors find a quick retreat in the park. Recreation includes hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing, rafting, mountain biking and horseback riding. With mountains rising almost 7,000 feet in elevation just above the Nature Center, it’s no wonder that Walter Mendenhall called the Eagle River Valley a “miniature Yosemite”. Yet, the Nature Center is just a short 45 minute drive from Anchorage. 

Main Tasks: Maintain Eagle River Nature Center grounds/trails and public use cabin and yurts. Trail maintenance includes chainsaw, log splitter and ATV operation, erosion control, tread work, and cabin and yurt inspection and maintenance. Other duties may include repair to facilities and basic carpentry.

Required Skills: Experience supervising small groups, familiarity with hand tool use including chainsaw operation, experience in basic tool and ATV maintenance and repair. Be physically fit, and able to live and work closely with others in rustic accommodations. 

Desired Skills: Carpentry skills and previous trail maintenance experience.

Internship: Will assist volunteer in internship requirements and paperwork.

Allowance/Housing: Subsistence payment with a minimum 60 day commitment. Volunteers will be housed in small, rustic cabins with shared facilities inside the Eagle River Nature Center, which include kitchen and bathroom. 

Time Commitment: May-August, or September-April (winter trail grooming). Preference for three or more months.

Send Application to: Asta Spurgis, Director Eagle River Nature Center

Eagle River Nature Center
32750 Eagle River Rd.
Eagle River, AK 99577


phone: (907) 694-2108
fax: (907) 694-2119
email: info@ernc.org

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-8700
Fax: (907) 269-8907