• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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?

American Indians use traditional ignition methods on a prescribed fire project

The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.