October 21, 2016

Children will receive inner satisfaction and outward recognition as they officially become a Bryce Canyon Junior Park Ranger. As a potential Park Ranger in training, they’ll perform interactive activities to get them excited about nature and preserving the natural wonders in and around Bryce Canyon. The experience not only benefits them, but becomes a fun learning environment for the entire family.

The little rangers have to complete three tasks to receive their Junior Ranger badges and patches:

  1. Attend a presentation or hike given by a Park Ranger.
  2. Work through an activity booklet, completing an age appropriate number of activities.
  3. Pick up some litter in an overlook parking lot or while hiking a trail.


1. Attend a presentation or hike given by a Park Ranger

These hands-on, responsive shows will light up children’s minds with magic and wonder. Park Rangers have studied for years to become experts in their fields and are ready to share their knowledge with you. Whether you’re sitting around a campfire for a geology talk or walking along Bryce Canyon’s magical amphitheatre of hoodoos, you won’t want to miss Bryce Canyon’s Park Ranger programs, listed below.

  • Geology Talks
    • When: Daily – year-round
    • Where: Sunset Point (summer) or the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center Auditorium (winter)
    • Duration: 0.5 hours
    • Learn from geologists who have spent years studying the unique story of Bryce Canyon. Find out why and how the infamous Bryce Canyon hoodoos were formed.
  • Kids’ Programs
    • When: Almost daily – summer
    • Where: North Campground Picnic Area
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Fun for kids and parents alike, rangers present a wide range of programs that will feed your creativity. Sign-ups are at the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center and children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Astronomy Programs
    • When: Check the program schedule, https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/astronomyprograms.htm
    • Where: Varies
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Bryce Canyon’s unrivaled dark night sky sets the perfect environment away from light pollution to see the stars like you’ve never seen them before. There will be a multimedia show plus stargazing with telescopes.
  • Evening Programs
    • When: Nightly – summer and fall
    • Where: Varies
    • Duration: 1 hour
    • Evening programs give extensive views at some of Bryce Canyon’s most captivating stories and fascinating resources. Check at the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center for topics, times and locations.
  • Rim Walk
    • When: Daily – spring, summer and fall
    • Where: Sunset Point
    • Duration: 1.5 hours, 1 mile round trip
    • Enjoy breathtaking views as you walk along the rim of Bryce Canyon’s amphitheater. Listen to experts as they tell stories about the plants, wildlife, geology and history.
  • Full Moon Hikes
    • When: Full moon nights
    • Where: Visit the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center for additional information, or call (435) 834-5322.
    • Duration: 2-3 hours, 1-2 miles
    • Join one of Bryce Canyon’s “Night Sky Rangers” for a star-lit adventure. Flashlights are not allowed for a complete full moon experience, and “lug traction” footwear is required.
  • Snowshoe Hikes
    • When: Winter (when snow depth and staffing allow)
    • Where: Sign-up at the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center
    • Duration: 1½ – 2½ hours, 1-2 miles
    • Learn how Bryce Canyon’s winters helped formed the red outcropped hoodoos. A park ranger guides this moderately strenuous snowshoe hike and also supplies the snowshoes.

2. Work through an activity booklet completing an age appropriate number of activities.

Visit https://www.nps.gov/kids/pdf/Centennial-JrRangerBooklet.pdf for an example national Junior Park Ranger centennial booklet. Inside this booklet, there are many activities to captivate the child’s amazement and imagination through crossword puzzles, pictures, poems, a “Jammin Journal to record thoughts about the park,” history timelines and so much more. The booklet even teaches you sign language! What a great way for kids to learn about their surroundings by fully interacting with their minds and hands.


3. Pick up some litter in an overlook parking lot or while hiking a trail

Service is one of the greatest ways to fully fall in love with a place. Kids will feel a part of Bryce Canyon as they help keep the beautiful red rock trails and ponderosa forests shining brilliantly. Their service will help ensure that everyone can enjoy the natural wonders free of garbage. It will also make them more cautious to not litter now nor in the future. This activity will not take much time, but will create a lasting imprint in their young minds.


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