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caly420's avatar

How do I find a summer job as a hiking guide?

Asked by caly420 (540points) February 11th, 2010

So I’m a 21 year old college student and I need to get away and do something fun an exciting this summer, non academic related.

I have always been an avid hiker and would LOVE nothing more than to be a guide or assistant guide somewhere like Mt. Kilimanjaro or the Swiss Alps (I realize I’m shooting high here, but this is best case scenario of course).

Who/how do I contact about working out a position somewhere (even for places in the states like the Rockies or the Appalachian trail)?

I’ve googled absolutely everything I can think of, but am turning up empty handed. Thanks for any input!!

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7 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Contact the state parks if you are in the US.

Cruiser's avatar

National/State Forest Service…National/State Parks….are you best place to start….think small to start as you are up against degreed people and senior citizens who live to do the same for free.

YARNLADY's avatar

Join Sierra Club, or do a search for hiking guide jobs

jrpowell's avatar

I hat a roommate that hiked all day in the forest and was paid to count frogs. He made 12 bucks an hour. I had another friend that counted bats. You might want to broaden your search.

I was offered a job to walk around the desert in California to count the types of different vegetation. It paid well but seemed miserable so I declined.

snowberry's avatar

I think it’s a matter of who you know. Many guides in the US are family owned companies. Wherever you work, you’re going to have to have a thorough knowledge of that area, have an excellent reputation, experience, and a good network.

Also, I’d contact travel companies that regularly hire guides for areas like the Alps, or wherever you want to guide. I typed in adventure travel in Google, and this is the first one on the list. If you want to work for an outfit like this, you could start by acting as support for another guide. There are a lot of them out there.

Another way to make yourself known is to volunteer in a natural park. Won’t feed your tummy, but it might feed your spirit. edit: But national parks generally want to only hire folks with degrees in the field (recreational management, etc)

lilikoi's avatar

I’ve been to East Africa, and have met folks that have hiked Kilimanjaro. There are so many local outfitters there, I don’t think you could compete with their expertise or price. And even if you could, you’d be taking away an honest paying job from someone who probably needs it. I agree that it would be a lot easier to start small. National or state parks would be a good idea. It would be easier to get a job with a tour company that does day hikes or shorter expeditions I think. Just pick a location and start googling. I’ve been looking for similar jobs for the summer and have found a ton of info.

@johnpowell The job in CA to count vegetation – that actually sounds pretty awesome to me. Who was offering that? Or how about the one to count frogs or bats? I would seriously love doing that as a temporary/seasonal job.

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