Ranger Adali Olivares

Meet the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Ranger
Adali OlivaresTrail Talk
Sunset over the Santa Monica Mountains
NPS Photo - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

When my high school teacher asked if anyone was interested in a summer internship in the national parks, I honestly didn’t have a clue about the parks. Then he said it was paid ... and I realized I could help my family. But looking back, I can see that the six weeks I spent in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area changed my life forever.

Ranger Adali Olivares at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Ranger Adali Olivares at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

We were completely immersed in the parks — doing restoration work and meeting with biologists and rangers. I even got to spend a week working at Channel Islands National Park. I was enthralled.

But I didn’t just fall in love with the parks that summer — I also met my wife, and we have been together ever since! Over the years, we’ve traveled from coast to coast to work at national parks including Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia and more.

Now that I’m back in L.A., what I love most is introducing people to the parks for the first time. I love helping underserved communities discover their public lands. I love working with the young people in our Youth Ambassador Program, helping them learn public speaking skills, community engagement, history, ecology and so much more.

Ranger Adali Olivares with the Youth Ambassador Program at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Ranger Adali Olivares with the Youth Ambassador Program

For me, being a ranger is much more than a job. As a park ranger for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, it’s my privilege to introduce underserved communities and use my Spanish language skills to share the parks with other members of the Latinx community.

It’s funny that now I’m the “old guy.” Today, I’m working with young people in a program similar to the one that sparked my love of the parks a decade ago. And I’m helping a new generation find that spark for themselves. I love to help the youth I work with gain ownership of the public lands around them.

There is a place for everyone here in the parks. You may be young, you may be from a working-class neighborhood, you may not be a native English speaker, but our national parks are here for you, too.

Trail Talk with National Park Employees
Go behind the scenes of national parks across the nation with our Trail Talk series. Hear from rangers and other National Park Service employees on what inspires them, as well as their favorite places within parks and their favorite park memories.


Thanks for all you do :)
Thank you!!!
thank you for all you do. what a wonderful story.
Thank you Adali! We are all Mother Nature's children, what better place to work but in one of her beautiful gardens!
I grew up in El Paso and had no idea about that memorial! Thanks for being out there.
Thank you for being a important part of our national heritage. and sharing your passion with others to inspire them to see the beauty around them.

Start a Conversation

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Stay Inspired
Connect with the parks you love. Sign up to receive the latest NPF news, information on how you can support our national treasures, and travel ideas for your next trip to the parks. Join our community.