• Rainbow over Half Dome


    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

For Kids

Visiting Yosemite? Join tens of thousands of other kids by become a junior ranger or little cub! Consider visiting the Nature Center at Happy Isles (summer only) or the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for interactive exhibits.

If you're working on a report for school, you can probably find the answers to your questions by looking through:

History: Junior Ranger history reaches back to the Yosemite Junior Nature School, organized in June 1930 and lasting until 1954. Imagine being an eager young naturalist sent off to the park for a week's summer session. Read a 1937 Yosemite Nature Notes article about the historic school and a 1960 Yosemite Nature Notes article that shares the program's success and structural evolution in 1955. Read about the children's experience in their words in this 1938 Yosemite Junior Nature Notes magazine. [1 MB PDF]. Also, could you pass the Junior Ranger 1933 test? [20 kb PDF] Warning: it's tough!
Ranger in Yosemite Valley field with children in historic photo
Ranger Walter Heil and a 1938 Yosemite Junior Nature School group explore Sentinel Meadow in the Valley.
Ralph H. Anderson
Ranger examines pelt on ground with two children
While studying to become Junior Rangers, children touch an animal pelt.

Did You Know?

Merced River Gorge

Descending from Yosemite Valley, the Merced River becomes a continuous cascade in a narrow gorge littered by massive boulders. Dropping 2,000 feet in 14 miles, canyon walls rise steeply from the river and have many seasonal waterfalls cascading down to the river.