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Join Randy Ringtail and Ruby the Rufous Hummingbird as they explore Bryce Canyon National Park and learn about how to plan ahead, stay on trail, and never feed or get close to wildlife.
What is a Junior Ranger?
Junior Rangers can be thought of as potential Park Rangers in training. This nationwide program is designed to not only familiarize children with the duties and responsibilities of a park ranger, but also to spark an interest in the whole family for the resources and stories each National Park Service area preserves.
How can you become a Junior Ranger?
At Bryce Canyon National Park, our Junior Rangers must successfully complete two tasks:
Upon completing these requirements, Junior Ranger candidates must return to the Visitor Center where they will be inducted as Junior Rangers and receive a free badge. Other unique Junior Ranger souvenirs are available for purchased from the park bookstore.
Becoming a Junior Ranger is a mark of distinction. These special badges that are issued cannot be purchased or otherwise obtained except through the dedication of the child and the support of his or her parents or guardians. Parents wishing their children to become Junior Rangers should plan to allocate 3-6 hours of their Bryce Canyon visit toward the completion of this program.
Download the Bryce Canyon Junior Ranger book here:
You can download the Bryce Canyon Junior Ranger book [PDF 6.4 MB] and get started as soon a you arrive to the park. Printed copies of the book are also available at the visitor center.
Completing the Book from Home?
If you can't download or print the book from home, send us an e-mail with your address to have a book mailed to you.
If you get stuck while working on your book, try checking out some of the hints below.
Using Your Map
If you haven't been to the park yet, circle the places you want to go! If you have, circle those you have the best memories from.
Get Ready Bingo
You don't have to get a Bingo to complete this activity--just cross off as many things as you have.
What's Happening Today
Visit this weather page for current park weather and sunrise/sunset times.
I Hiked the Hoodoos!
Remember this is never a mandatory activity, but if you do complete it be sure to get your reward from the Visitor Center front desk!
Hm. The waterfall looks like it comes from a page with a map. The person looks like they come from a page about humans. The bat probably comes from a page about night skies. The hummingbird from a page about wildlife. And the prairie dog might be closer than you think!
Sensing Your Park
Even if you're not in the park, take your book outside and try this activity wherever you are!
Prairie Dog Word Tunnels
1. You're working on this book to become a Junior _______?
2. Babies sometimes have shakeable toys that share their name with the first park of this snake's name.
3. This is a two word answer. If you're in the park, check out the prairie dog colony in the park museum. If you're not able to go there, the first word is what we say you're doing when you pay attention to what your ears are hearing. The second word is a fancy word for a room (it starts with "Ch" and kinda rhymes with "neighbor").
4. Bears are famous for doing this in the winter too!
5. The first part of this word is a 3-letter place where people (usually in the city) go to see wild animals. The last part of the word means "the study of".
6. This animal is named for what's on top of its head. The first park of its name starts with "Pr" and rhymes with "wrong" and the second part of the name is another word for an instrument like a trumpet.
7. These bloom in spring, smell very nice, and are considered beautiful to many people.
8. Starts with an "M" and rhymes with the number after 7.
9. What do you call a baby dog? What's a shorter way to say that? (Don't forget to add an "s" at the end!)
8. This is also the name for a rainy season in south Asia. The last four letters of the word are how we describe something that is going to happen in a very short amount of time from now.
11. This is also the name for a place you'd find human babies. A clue might be the name of the person who helps a doctor.
12. Humans also use this when we go to the bathroom. Don't forget to flush!
13. The last four letters of this name are what happens to say, a car door when you accidentally hit it with a baseball or a shopping cart.
14. Check out page 9 of your book!
15. The first part of this bird's name is a yellow metal that is more valuable than silver. The second part is the same kind of bird as the national bird of the United States of America.
16. Not woof, but... trees also have this on them.
17. It's less than two and more than zero!
18. The opposite of "go"!
19. Check out page 10 of your book!
Lifecycle of a Hoodoo
Take the tip in the book to check out the background drawing first! Hoodoos begin as the edge of the plateau erodes away, so the first step is going to be the one closest to Randy Ringtail on the edge!
Create a Hoodoo
Draw whatever you want! (and don't forget to name it)
Know Your Layers
The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are part of the Claron (a freebie!) formation, which is around 50 million years old. This formation is also called the Pink Cliffs, which is the very (opposite of bottom) step of the "Grand Staircase". Bryce Canyon contains the most hoodoos on Earth, but it's not really a canyon because it has no (what is flowing at the bottom of places like the Grand Canyon)?
Dolomitic Limestone is harder than other layers of rock in the park, so it doesn't erode as quickly as other layers. One thing that makes it harder is that it has magnesium along with the calcium and carbon that make up regular limestone.
White Limestone has calcium carbonate in it, and like other layers in the park it was formed in or around a fresh-water lake.
Red Limestone not only has calcium carbonate like the white limestone, but has quantities of iron in it, which has oxidized (rusted, really) into red, orange, and yellow colors.
Mudstone is the softest layer of rock in the park so it erodes much more quickly than the others.
Where to look for these plants:
Ponderosa: look for the large trees in front of the Visitor Center!
Quaking Aspen: Take the drive to Rainbow Point and keep an eye out just past Swamp Canyon, or hike the first two switchbacks of the Navajo Loop.
Bristlecone Pine: Hike the Bristlecone Loop, Queen's Garden, or Tower Bridge trails. There's also one along the Rim Trail just north of Inspiration Point.
Manzanita: Look for a low green shrub at most viewpoints, including Inspiration, Sunset, and Sunrise Points.
Juniper: Check out near the Visitor Center shuttle stop, or at the same viewpoints as Manzanita.
White Fir: Lots of them down near Rainbow Point, also along the path leading to Sunset Point from the shuttle stop.
Oregon Grape: Very common on the ground; check out the forest paths near Sunset Point.
If you're at home, pick one of these plants to learn at least 5 facts about.
Use the clues on the plant pictures above (Plant Safari activity) to answer these questions!
Even if you're not in the park, draw a new plant you've found!
Keep your eyes open!
Try and spot at least one animal while you're here! If you're at home, pick one animal to research and learn at least 5 facts about.
Who left it?
Look for clues next to the animals beside the tree. Key clues include number of toes, if they leave claw marks or not, and what they like to eat (or cough up)!
First trace your hand, then pick a track to try and draw (to scale) on top of your hand.
What Parks Mean to Us (Interview)
You can ask anyone these questions--even yourself!
Naming the World Around You
If you haven't been to Bryce, spend a little time looking at pictures and learning about it to help you come up with responses to these questions.
Being a Good Steward
If you're not in the park, try and pick up 10 pieces of trash whereever you are.
The North Star
Be sure to draw lines from the two constellations (Cassiopeia and The Big Dipper) toward the star at the center of the page. For the Little Dipper, circle the North Star and write "Polaris" next to it.
Just a Phase
Check out the current moon phase online. First Quarter through Full Moons tend to be bright around the time that people would be out for stargazing.
Losing the Night
Draw a dome on top of the left lightbulb and squiggly lines pointed down toward the ground to show how a "shielded" light keeps light from travelling up into the sky.
What Comes After a Fire?
Go to the "Plants of Bryce Canyon" page. The first plant is one that has a clue that it enjoys bright, full sun areas. The second plant has a clue that it doesn't like shade. The third plant grows quickly in burned areas, and the fourth plant grows in crowded, shady forests.
A Changing Climate
Think of how hoodoos might look if they were constantly being rained upon, wearing them down and making them look more rounded and lumpy?
Deciding the Future of Your Parks
Have an adult help you search online for "challenges for national parks". Choose a challenge you find, and think about how we could work together to face it.
The Maze of Decisions
Make your way through the maze, trying to make the right choices at each big decision (#1-#10). For decision #11, draw a difficult choice you've had to make in the park or outdoors. Whichever answer you put next to the right-facing arrow should be the correct one (since this is the way to the end)!.
Explore. Learn. Protect.
More information on other Junior Ranger programs throughout the national park system is also available.
Last updated: April 23, 2021