Junior Rangers at Saguaro National Park

Four kids and a ranger look at a barrel cactus in a desert setting.
Junior Rangers measuring a barrel cactus

NPS photo

Junior Ranger Programs

Young people are encouraged to discover their environment by dissecting owl pellets, cooking a trail snack on a backpack stove, hiking in the desert, and drawing a favorite cactus. These are just some of the activities children can experience when participating in one of Saguaro National Park's Junior Ranger programs.

Here at Saguaro National Park we feel the future stewardship of our park is of the utmost importance. A Junior Ranger is an explorer. A Junior Ranger is a learner, and this type of learning is informal and fun. A Junior Ranger is a protector of the national parks. Junior Rangers discover things they can do to help make sure there are always parks to visit in the future. They learn things they can do in the parks, and things they can do when they return home. When they have completed their activity booklets, children are sworn in as a Junior Ranger and receive a badge and certificate. Each year 450,000 children become Junior Rangers. In today's high paced world, we recognize that schedules are even busier than ever! That's why we have a few different ways kids can become Junior Rangers.

First, they can come into the Visitor Center to pick up their workbook for the Self-guided Discovery Day Pack. This pack takes approximately 1-3 hours to complete and is totally self-guided and can be completed at the child's own pace. Junior Rangers and their families explore the parks using activity booklets designed especially for them. The booklets introduce park stories and point out things of interest that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Summer Programs, Rincon Mountain District (east)

Another way kids can become Junior Rangers at Saguaro National Park is by participating in one of our fabulous Summer Junior Ranger Camps. These programs are held at Saguaro National Park's east district, and vary in details. In this camp children will experience the desert by learning about the animals native to our desert home, the importance of water, how to hike safely in the desert, interactive games and activities and much, much more.

Summer Programs, Tucson Mountain District (west)

This half-day Jr Ranger Camp allows children to explore the park outside in the morning in the cooler temps and then move inside to learn more about these prickly plants and the crafty critters that make the park home. Children will be led by staff on this exploration while completing activities in their Junior Ranger Journal. At camp’s end, they will be sworn in as official Junior Rangers

Wilderness and Explorer Camps

These full day or three day Wilderness camps are held in the cooler winter / spring months in the Tucson Mountain District, (west). Kids spend all day learning about how to hike into the Saguaro Wilderness and the proper way to set up a camping experience. Families are invited to participate in the campfire program at the end of the camp and learn from their graduate campers.

Not So Junior Ranger Program

The rest of the family, young adults and seniors can also particitpate in our NEW Not So Junior Ranger Program. Rack up as much points as you can by visiting our visitor centers, hiking trails, observing wildlife, and completing some saguaro trivia questions.

Finally, for those of you long distance or just unable to make it to the park in person, kids can now become On-line Junior Rangers. To learn more about this opportunity go to Go WebRangers.

Last updated: November 27, 2017

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3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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