Arrival at the Park: Ask a Ranger!

Two female park rangers smiling

NPS Photo

Now that you've planned and prepared for your trip, it's time to head out on your adventure in the park! What do you need to double-check before you go? What sort of things should you ask a Ranger when you arrive?

This is your last chance to make sure that everyone is prepared before going on the trip.
Trip Leaders:

  • Check in with your emergency contact, a person NOT going on the trip, and leave them your Trip Plan
  • Make sure you have packed your permits and any other important paperwork
  • Assign chaperones and a buddy system

Safety Leaders:

When you arrive at the park, locate the Visitor Center or Ranger Station and ask a Park Ranger about:

Closures or Postings - Are there any trails, campsites, or other areas closed or posted due to hazardous conditions that may change your planned itinerary?

• Hazards - Is there any fire or animal activity, high water from recent rain events, rock fall, or icy trails and routes? Are you visiting a historic structure with uneven steps, unleveled paths, or no barriers to protect you from falls?

Weather Changes - Is there rain, wind, snow, or extreme temperatures (high or low) forecasted for the duration of your trip?

If a permit is required for your group or your activity, get the permit and pay any fees associated with it and read all regulations printed or stamped on it.

Check in with group members to find out if they are in good health and have the energy to do the planned activity.

Make sure that everyone has enough water and food and that you brought all the necessary equipment for your activity.

Use Plan B if park conditions have changed, a group member’s health or fitness level is not optimal, or equipment is missing.


Last updated: June 15, 2018