Talking with a ranger is a great way to better understand the place you are visiting.
What's a Ranger Program?
Ranger-guided programs are a great way to learn about what makes a park special, whether it's learning how historic people lived, discovering geologic processes at work, or seeing things you wouldn't have found on your own.
Ranger-guided programs are available in many formats, but generally fall into two categories: presentations and activities.
Presentations are usually stationary, and take place in an amphitheater or auditorium. Short talks and touch tables are more personal ways of interacting with the ranger. The programs are usually topical, regarding some aspect of human or natural history. These types of programs are usually free.
Ranger-guided activities may include short talks, guided tours, walks, and hikes. These activities are often free, but some activities such as boat rides and certain tours may require a fee.
Certain activities require a degree of physical fitness. You must self-assess whether an activity would be too difficult or hazardous to any member of your party. If you have any questions about an activity, ask a park ranger before you begin the activity.
Where is the Nearest Ranger Program?
Parks typically advertise the day's ranger programs in bulletin boards, park newspapers, or other means. Stop by or call the visitor center for details.
You can also check the NPS Events Calendar for select events in any national park.
Why Attend a Ranger Program?
When you attend a ranger program, you can ask all the questions you have, and get answers to questions you didn't know to ask!
Ranger programs are designed to bring out the relevance and meaning in the park you're enjoying. They can help you understand how different plants and animals interact in an ecosystem, how ancient people lived off the land, how geologic processes have shaped the landscape, historic events, and more.
What's more, ranger programs can be a fun social outing as well. National parks attract visitors from around the globe, and you can share in a memorable experience together.
Last updated: April 28, 2016