• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

For Kids

gold ranger badge that says Yosemite
Visiting Yosemite? Become a Junior Ranger or Little Cub! In 2010, more than 24,000 children became Yosemite Junior Rangers (up from 6,000 in 2007). Learn more about Junior Rangers with these links. Consider visiting the Nature Center at Happy Isles (summer only) or the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for interactive exhibits.

Read about a Junior Ranger's winning entry in an essay contest.

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?

Yosemite Museum

When it opened to the public on May 29, 1926, the Yosemite Museum became the first museum building in the national park system, and its educational objectives served as a model for parks nationwide. It still functions much as it was originally intended, and currently exhibits items which mainly reflect the Native occupation of Yosemite Valley and its surroundings. When in the park, you can visit with one of three cultural demonstrators who primarily staff the Museum.