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Hi all!

I just got a job offer to work as a room attendant at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel this summer. I've been reading reviews for the company I'm going to be working for, (Xanterra) and they make me a little nervous. Most are very negative. If you have worked at Yellowstone through Xanterra before, what was it like? Was it a bad experience and why? 

Also, has anyone ever worked at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel specifically? Information what the managers, dorms, and hours are like would be really appreciated. Or any advice or stories about working in Yellowstone in general. Thanks!

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its not that bad there lake is an wonderfull location laid back place not that busy doing the summer theres alot of good hiking trails i have an friend thats o going to be the edr manager  there and shes an big hiker  the cell phone is ok if you have verzion if you do get an prepaid verzion phone and depends on your carrier you can supsend your phone for 6months till you get back as long as you do your job you should be fine and choose your  friends wisely this is going to be my third season there but i' m going to old faithfull  this time around work at mammonth last year enjoy your time there it can  be amazing 

Hey thanks for all of the info. I really appreciate it. I'm really interested in learning about working there before I go. I have a LOT of questions I would love to get answered. If you have the time, it would be awesome if you can answer some of them. thanks. (Sorry some are very random!)

Here goes:

What kind of people work there seasonally? Is it a bunch of college aged kids?...I would like that since I am one. And I know this is a little silly, but what about summer flings? Does dating sometimes happen or no? :)

Is the employee dining room food pretty ok? Did you start to hate it after a while?

What kind of church services are offered near or in the park? Do people usually have to work on sundays?

How far is the nearest movie theater? The nearest walmart?

What are your favorite trails to hike in yellowstone?

What were your favorite things you did on your time off in yellowstone?

What are some things you forgot to pack, but wish you did?

I've heard employees can rent rowboats for free. Have you ever done it? Did you like it?

How likely is it, in your opinion, that I will get to pick my roommate? (I am traveling with a friend and working in the same location and hope to room with her).

Hey, I'll be working in Yellowstone this summer, too. As I'm not a US citizen, I'll be going through CIEE (a work&travel program for foreign students). Just like Miranda, I have a few questions which maybe you could answer :)

First off - is it possible to get from Yellowstone to Cody, WY or Bozeman, MT if you don't have a car? Let's say I would like to make a trip to one of these towns during my day off - is there a bus or something I can use? And how high is the fee? Also - are there any shopping malls in Bozeman? Is it a big town? I'll be staying there for 1 day before I get to Yellowstone.

Next, how do I know in which one, out of the seven villages, will I be placed? I read somewhere on their website that I will not know that until the day I get to Yellowstone. On the other hand, in the documents they gave me to fill in, they mention 'Gardiner' a few times and I know 1 village is called like that.

Also, I read that while tours are available to the employees for free, they have to pay for using the bus which transports people from one village to another. Is that true?

And the 'general shops' which they mention in the description of the villages - what are they? Small stores with snacks and basic stuff like shower gel and shampoo?

Thanks a lot, Alison :) I don't think I have any other questions :)

It's POSSIBLE to get to any of the gateway cities without a car, but I wouldn't try it. There is very little public transportation, and you risk getting stuck with no way back. Frankly, I would NEVER come to Yellowstone without a car--it's just too isolated, and you'd miss being able to tour the park. Without a car, you might as well be working in a very small town in the middle of nowhere--which is pretty much what it will feel like. (The occasional bus that another poster mentioned ain't cheap by the way--since it's 2-4 hours and at least 60 miles to Cody, Bozeman, etc.)

Gardiner is a small town by the northwest entrance to the park. Though some emplyers have offices there, it's unlikely that's where you'll be assigned; more likely, that's where you'll check in and get your work assignment. Most employers tell you where you'll be working. If this one truly doesn't, then if you are given a choice, try to get assigned to Canyon or Old Faithful, as there will be more employees at those locations and you might be able to bum the occasional ride. Grant and Lake are also large, but don't have as good reputations as places to work or live.

Employees usually get discounts on things like tours and Yellowstone Association classes, but you rarely get them for free. Also, there isn't a "bus which transports people from one village to another." Many National Parks have shuttle bus systems, but not Yellowstone. There is a bus called "Linx" that does the southern loop road, originating from West Yellowstone, twice a day ($20 to ride). But West Yellowstone is a very small town, and there's no reason to go there to shop as things are as high-priced there as in the park. The Linx won't get you to Bozeman, the only city where there's extensive shopping and facilities near the park.

The general stores in the Park, operated by DNC, stock most basic necessities, but prices are high. Most seasonal Park employees do a Wal-Mart run to Bozeman every month or so--if you carpool, you save enough money to make the trip worthwhile, what with the much lower prices than in the park and Montana's lack of sales tax.

i loved yellowstone

plan on going back this year and worked at mammoth 5 yrs ago

focus on yellowstone, the experience and dont worry too much about the company

its a great experience. 

the lake area was my favorite location of the 6 seasons I did in the park. The housing is crowded, but it's like that at all seasonal jobs/locations. It's very liveable tho. Hayden valley makes for some great hiking,elephant back is right there for a shorter daily hike. cell service was non existant then but I think they are putting in a tower soon. Learn to play disc golf. There's a course (of sorts) and a lot of fun on a sunny afternoon

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