Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Grizzly Logo © Copyright Page Makers, LLC

Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger
and Young Scientist Programs


Junior Ranger Program Cover NPS Image



Junior Ranger Patches NPS Image


It's fun and easy to become a Junior Ranger




Yellowstone National Park has a self-guided, Junior Ranger program for visitors aged 4 years and up. The Junior Ranger program is a way to introduce children—and those young at heart—to the natural wonders of the park and their own role in preserving these wonders for the future. Full-color booklets are available at visitor centers in the park for $ 3.00 and a Junior Ranger patch is awarded to those who complete the requirements.


To become a Junior Ranger, families may request the $ 3.00 Junior Ranger book at any visitor center in Yellowstone. After completing the age appropriate requirements described inside the booklet and reviewing their work with a ranger at any visitor center, participants are awarded an official Yellowstone Junior Ranger patch. Modeled after the National Park Service patch, Junior Ranger patches are shaped like an arrowhead and feature a geyser for 4-7 year olds, a grizzly bear for 8-12 year olds, and a bison for those aged 13 to 113 years.


Requirements include attending a Ranger-led program, hiking on a park trail or boardwalk, and completing activities in the booklet to learn more about park resources, issues, and concepts such as geothermal geology, wildlife, and fire ecology. Both children and adults benefit by learning more about the park and sharing the fun of becoming a Junior Ranger.


Junior Ranger Winter Patch

If you visit Yellowstone in winter and participate in the junior ranger program, Winter Junior Rangers are awarded a snowflake patch. Some winter activities require the use of a thermometer and hand lens, so ask to check out a Junior Ranger Snowpack. Snowpacks are available at both the Mammoth and Old Faithful visitor centers and snowshoes may be checked out in Mammoth.


Junior Ranger Motto
"Explore, Learn, and Protect!"


When you have completed the number of activities you are required to do, you take the paper to any ranger station and they will announce that you have completed the program and present you with your Junior Ranger Patch. Cool! We have listed a few of the topics below to give you some idea of what to expect.


Canyon Ranger Led Activities - Yellowstone National Park
Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Canyon Talks at Artist Point (May 28 to Sep 5)
Enjoy Lower Falls, the Yellowstone River, and the spectacular colors of the canyon from a classic viewpoint, while learning about the area's natural and human history. Discover why artists and photographers continue to be drawn to this special place. Join a ranger on the lower platform at Artist Point on the South Rim Drive for this short talk. *11:00 am talk designed for families with children of Junior Ranger age. 20 minutes. Accessible. Handicapped Accessible
Handicapped Accessible
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

5/29–9/4
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

5/30–9/5
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

5/31–8/30
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

6/1–8/31
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

6/2–9/1
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

6/3–9/2
10:30 am
*11:00 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm

5/28–9/3
Yellowstone for the Young (Jun 12 to Aug 20)
Discover the wonderful geology, history, or wildlife of Yellowstone. Join a ranger for an interactive program designed for families with children of Junior Ranger age (5 - 12 years old). Meet in front of the Canyon Visitor Education Center. 20 minutes. Accessible.
Handicapped Accessible
3:00 pm

6/12–8/14
3:00 pm

6/13–8/15
3:00 pm

6/14–8/16
3:00 pm

6/15–8/17
3:00 pm

6/16–8/18
3:00 pm

6/17–8/19
3:00 pm

6/18–8/20
Wildlife Olympics for Kids (Jun 8 to Aug 24)
Test your skills and compare your abilities to animals in Yellowstone. How far can you jump? How well can you see and smell? Take part anytime between noon and 3 pm near the Canyon Visitor Education Center. Stay for as little or as long as your plans allow.
      12:00 pm
to
3:00 pm

6/8–8/24
     

Grant Village Ranger Led Activities - Yellowstone National Park
Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Junior Ranger Discovery Program (May 29 - Sep 5)
Get ready to investigate and discover the many curiosities of Yellowstone during this interactive program geared towards kids of Junior Ranger age (4 - 13+ years old). Meet at the Grant Village Pavilion, located behind the Visitor Center along the edge of the Lake. 30 minutes. Accessible.
Handicapped Accessible
11:30 am
2:00 pm

5/29–9/4
11:30 am
2:00 pm

5/30–9/5
11:30 am
2:00 pm

5/31–8/30
11:30 am
2:00 pm

6/1–8/31
11:30 am
2:00 pm

6/2–9/1
11:30 am
2:00 pm

6/3–9/2
11:30 am
2:00 pm

6/4–9/3
Ranger Rendezvous (May 27 to September 5)
This early evening program is designed for the young and young at heart. Learn more about Yellowstone's diverse geology, history, or wildlife riches. Daily programs are posted at the Grant Visitor Center. Meet on the back porch of the Grant Visitor Center. 30 minutes. Accessible.
Handicapped Accessible
7:30 pm

5/29–9/4
7:30 pm

5/30–9/5
7:30 pm

5/31–8/30
7:30 pm

6/1–8/31
7:30 pm

6/2–9/1
7:30 pm

5/27–9/2
7:30 pm

5/28–9/3

Madison Ranger Led Activities - Yellowstone National Park
Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Junior Ranger Station Activities (May 28 to Sep 5)
Learn about Yellowstone's wonderful wildlife, geysers, history and much more! This is a great opportunity to complete the ranger–led activity required to earn your Junior Ranger patch. These family programs are geared towards kids of Junior Ranger age (5–12). Meet at the Junior Ranger Station at Madison Junction. Accessible with assistance. 30 minutes.
Handicapped Accessible
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

5/29–9/4
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

5/30–9/5
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

5/31–8/30
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

6/1–8/31
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

6/2–9/1
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

6/3–9/2
10:00 am
10:30 am
11:00 am
11:30 am
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
4:30 pm

5/28–9/3

Old Faithful Ranger Led Activities - Yellowstone National Park
Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Yellowstone for Kids (May 28 to September 5)
Kids will discover some of the wonders of Yellowstone during this interactive presentation. Meet outside of the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center (geyser side) for this outdoor program. 20 minutes. Accessible.
Handicapped Accessible
10:00 am
5:00 pm

5/29–9/4
10:00 am
5:00 pm

5/30–9/5
10:00 am
5:00 pm

5/31–8/30
10:00 am
5:00 pm

6/1–8/31
10:00 am
5:00 pm

6/2–9/1
10:00 am
5:00 pm

6/3–9/2
10:00 am
5:00 pm

5/28–9/3
Wildlife Olympics for Kids (June 6 to August 22)
Test your skills and compare your abilities to animals in Yellowstone. How far can you jump? How well can you see and smell? Take part anytime between noon and 3 pm near the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. Stay for as little or as long as your plans allow.
  12:00 pm
to
3:00 pm

6/6–8/22
         
Young Scientist Investigation (June 6 to August 29)
Are the geysers alive? Is the volcano still active? Investigate these questions and more. Using the Young Scientist booklet as a guide, explore the Upper Geyser Basin with a park ranger. While it is not required, you can purchase a booklet at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. Meet at Castle Geyser, ½-mile west of Old Faithful (15-minute walk from the Visitor Education Center). 1¼ hours.
  12:00 pm
1:45 pm

6/6–8/29
         
Activity Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

* * Also, do not forget to check out the Star Talks * *




Yellowstone's Nature


When you become a Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger, you become a Junior Ranger in the oldest national park in the United States. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the act that made Yellowstone the first national park, thereby protecting it "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." Today you may be one of three million who come each year to see Yellowstone's natural beauty. As a visitor today, you share Yellowstone's 2.2 million acres with its wildlife, and you have the opportunity to help protect its natural wonders for future visitors. By becoming a Junior Ranger, you recognize that Yellowstone National Park is important for both people and wildlife. One animal that lives in Yellowstone and depends on the park for its future survival is the grizzly bear. That's why the track of the grizzly bear is the symbol of the Junior Ranger program. As grizzly bears lost most of their habitat across the United States to early settlement, they retreated to remote, wild places like Yellowstone. The bear is the animal that most people want to see in Yellowstone, but the bear often stays hidden from people. The secretive grizzly bear symbolizes all that is wild in Yellowstone. The bear lives here -- roams, feeds and has its young -- and we're lucky to share its wilderness. As long as Greater Yellowstone is preserved, grizzly bears and other animals that depends on this rich habitat will survive. As a Junior Ranger, you know as long as you care about Yellowstone, you can help protect its future! We hope you'll become a Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger, and we hope you enjoy your visit in Yellowstone.





Become a Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger and...


Bullet Learn interesting facts about Yellowstone's wildlife, plants and geology.

Bullet Understand the importance of preserving national parks for future generations.

Bullet Discover that becoming a Junior Ranger is both fun and challenging. It's even something you may want to do in other parks that have Junior Ranger programs.

Bullet Find that rangers are eager to talk with you about what you have learned.

Bullet Realize that becoming a Junior Ranger is just a beginning. After you visit Yellowstone, you can continue to learn about natural places-even in your own neighborhood and community.

Bullet Receive the Junior Ranger patch with a geyser for 4 - 7 year olds, a bear for the 8 - 12 year olds and a bison for 13 year olds and up.

Bullet You will be recognized by park rangers as someone who really cares about national parks and all their natural wonders.




Junior Ranger Winter Program


Junior Ranger Winter Patch

This program is designed for children from 5 - 12 years of age and their families. Participants explore the winter world of snow, ice and steam through activities focusing on geology, wildlife adaptations, weather, snow crystals and more. In addition to completing an age-appropriate activity paper, participants attend a program led by a park ranger, record wildlife observations, make a record of geyser and hot spring activity, and hike, ski, or snowshoe a trail.

Children can participate by requesting the program at either the Mammoth or Old Faithful visitor centers. For $ 3.00 they receive an activity paper. Requirements include attending a Ranger-led program, hiking on a park trail, and completing activities on various park resources, issues, and concepts such as geothermal geology, park wildlife, and fire ecology.

Some winter activities require the use of a thermometer and hand lens, so make sure you ask to check out a Junior Ranger Snowpack. Snowpacks are available at both the Mammoth and Old Faithful visitor centers and snowshoes may be checked out in Mammoth. Upon completion of the program, children return to the visitor center to have their work reviewed by a park ranger, and receive an embroidered patch. Fees collected through this program help maintain the program, allow for the continued development of new program components, and provide high school students summer jobs working with Junior Rangers.

This winter program was a natural offshoot of Yellowstone's well established summer Junior Ranger program, which awards 15,000 patches each summer. Most parks offer some sort of Junior Ranger program, and many children enjoy collecting the great variety of patches and badges offered.

This is a great opportunity for youth to learn about and enjoy Yellowstone's Winter Wonderland.




Young Scientist


Young Scientist


NPS Image

An In-Park Science Inquiry Paper for Ages Five to Adult


Students ages 5 and up you can become a Young Scientist when you visit Yellowstone National Park! Purchase your self-guiding booklet for $ 5.00 at the Canyon Visitor Education Center or Old Faithful Visitor Center. Designed to serve three different age groups, the program coaches the young (and young at heart) to solve science mysteries by combining investigation in both visitor center and field settings. The program for 5-7 year olds is offered only at Old Faithful. Stop by the Old Faithful Visitor Center to check out a Young Scientist toolkit for use in the Upper Geyser Basin. Once your investigation is complete, you will be awarded an official Young Scientist patch (ages 5 - 13) or key chain (ages 14 and up).


Young Scientist Patch - NPS ImageYoung Scientist Key Chain - NPS Image



Available at Canyon


Canyon Education Programs - NPS Image



Available at Old Faithful


Old Faithful Education Programs - NPS Image

The 5 through 9 year old program is offered only at Old Faithful.


If you are investigating in the Old Faithful area, be sure to check out a Young Scientist Toolkit, which has a thermometer, stopwatch, and other gear. Once your investigation is complete, you will be awarded an official Young Scientist patch or key chain.



Development of this program was funded by the National Science Foundation through a generous grant to the Yellowstone Park Foundation.


Words of Wisdom - NPS Image


Your Yellowstone Journal


Rangers use journals to keep a record of what they see, what they do, and what they think. Today, we still read the journals kept by early travelers through Yellowstone -- like trapper Osborne Russell in the 1830's and surveyor Ferdinand Hayden in the 1870's. Now you have the chance to record your own trip! Use the journal page to describe some of your Yellowstone experiences. Who do you think will be interested in reading your journal... today? In 10 years? In 20 years? They will ask you some hard questions like this. If you could be any animal which one would you be? Why?




The Big Picture


If you hear people speak about Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, they're talking about Yellowstone National Park, the area that surrounds it, all of the plants and animals that live there. In an ecosystem, everything is connected to everything else, like a puzzle. If you have all the pieces to the puzzle, then the ecosystem, and all the plants and all the animals in it, will usually be healthy. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, most of the pieces to the puzzle are still here. In fact, Yellowstone is one of the most complete ecosystems in the lower 48 states. This does not mean everything is perfect though. Since not every part of the area is protected like the park, the growth of nearby cities and towns can affect the plants and animals. As humans, it is are responsibility to make sure that the ecosystem stays healthy. After all, the plants and animals have nowhere else to go.




Wildland Fire


The summer of 1988 will probably be remembered for a long time.During that summer, fires affected about one third of Yellowstone National Park and many people though Yellowstone would surely be destroyed. What they seemed to forget was that fires were not new to Yellowstone; in fact, major fires like the ones in 1988 have occurred in Yellowstone every 300 to 400 years for the past 10,000 years!




Letting Off Steam


As a visitor to Yellowstone, you know that Yellowstone is famous for its geysers. Do you know that:


Bullet Yellowstone has over 300 geysers -- that's more than half of all the known geysers in the world!

Bullet Yellowstone has the tallest active geyser in the world! (Look for Steamboat geyser at Norris).


Bullet The Upper Geyser Basin, near Old Faithful, has over 150 geysers within one square mile.


So just how do these geysers work? Geysers all need three things: water, heat, and a strong plumbing system.




Hot Spots


Right now you're standing on top of a volcano! Imagine yourself standing here 600,000 years ago: You hear a deep rumbling rolling across the landscape. Suddenly there's a deafening explosion! Hot volcano ash and pumice spew out from great cracks in the earth's surface. Dust clouds blacken the sky, and volcanic debris covers thousands of square miles. Abruptly, a great smoldering pit--a caldera 28 miles across, 47 miles long and several thousand feet deep-- appears. The Yellowstone Caldera is formed! Over many of the years following, the caldera is filled in by lava flows oozing from cracks in the earth's surface.


Bullet Hot springs: are pools filled with hot water that do not erupt.

Bullet Geysers: are hot springs that throw hot water and steam into the air.

Bullet Mud pots: are filled with hot bubbling mud.

Bullet Fumaroles: are steam vents that don't have enough water to be hot springs.




* * Also, do not forget to check out the Star Talks * *




Yellowstone National Park Ranger Led Activities
Bridge Bay Lake Tower Fall
Canyon Madison Visitor Centers
Fishing Bridge Mammoth West Thumb
Grant Norris West Yellowstone
Indian Creek Old Faithful Wildlife Olympics
Junior Ranger Star Talks  



Yellowstone National Park by Page Makers, LLC © Copyright All Rights Reserved
I n d e x
Accessibility Earthquakes Maps Video Page
Address Email Newspaper Visitor Centers
Adult Programs Entrances Old Faithful Live WebCam Visitor Stats
Amphibians Entrance Fees Pets Volcano Observatory
Animals Fall Closure Phone Numbers Waterfalls
Backcountry Fish Picnic Areas Weather
Bear Management Fishing Fees Ranger Led Activities WebCams
Bear Sightings Fishing Regulations Reptiles Wildflowers
Biking Getting Here Reunions Winter Closing
Boating Hiking Rivers, Creeks & Streams Winter Opening
Books History Roads Winter Weather Reports
Butterflies Junior Ranger Program Schedule Wolf Project
Camping Lakes Search Page Wolf Sightings
Campground Maps Location Spring Opening Wolverine Help
Challenges Lodging Star Talks Yellowstone ~ the Name
Chat Page Lynx Help Trip Planner pdf Young Scientist
Clinics / Medical Mammal List Trip Reports Youth Conservation Corps

Yellowstone National Park WebCams
Old Faithful Live All Old Faithful Old Faithful Static Old Faithful VC North Entrance Mt Washburn Mammoth YVO WebCam

Entrance Cities and Gateway Towns
Gardiner, Montana Silver Gate, Montana West Yellowstone, Montana Cooke City, Montana
Livingston, Montana Cody, Wyoming Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park

Not all who wander are lost by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien © Page Makers, LLC

Contact UsHome