Junior Ranger Program

Two young junior rangers hold up their books and patches
Explore, Learn, Protect! Families can purchase the full-color Junior Ranger activity book at visitor centers for $3. Visitors of any age earn a Junior Ranger patch upon completion.


Junior Ranger cover with a family looking at bison fording a stream while a geyser erupts in the background.

Yellowstone National Park has a self-guided, Junior Ranger program for visitors aged 4 years and up. The Junior Ranger program is a way to introduce children—and those young at heart—to the natural wonders of the park and their own role in preserving these wonders for the future. Full-color booklets are available at visitor centers in the park for $3 and a Junior Ranger patch is awarded to those who complete the requirements.

To become a Junior Ranger, families may request the $3 Junior Ranger book at any visitor center in Yellowstone. After completing the age appropriate requirements described inside the booklet and reviewing their work with a ranger at any visitor center, participants are awarded an official Yellowstone Junior Ranger patch. Modeled after the National Park Service patch, Junior Ranger patches are shaped like an arrowhead and feature a geyser for 4-7 year olds, a grizzly bear for 8-12 year olds, and a bison for those aged 13 to 113 years.

Junior Ranger Patches with bear, bison, and geyser

Requirements include attending a Ranger-led program, hiking on a park trail or boardwalk, and completing activities in the booklet to learn more about park resources, issues, and concepts such as geothermal geology, wildlife, and fire ecology. Both children and adults benefit by learning more about the park and sharing the fun of becoming a Junior Ranger.

A family sits on a bench in front of the Old Faithful Inn working on Junior Ranger books
Pick up a Junior Ranger book at a visitor center and work on it during your visit.

NPS / Jim Peaco

Junior Ranger Winter Patch

Winter Junior Rangers

If you visit Yellowstone in winter and participate in the Junior Ranger program, Winter Junior Rangers are awarded a snowflake patch. Some winter activities require the use of a thermometer and hand lens, so ask to check out a Junior Ranger Snowpack. Snowpacks are available at both the Mammoth and Old Faithful visitor centers and snowshoes may be checked out in Mammoth.


More Information

  • WebRangers: Customize your own ranger station, hike trails, earn rewards, and play games! For kids of all ages.
  • Young Scientist: Everyone ages 5+ can become a Young Scientist. Books are available at Old Faithful and Canyon.
  • Yellowstone for Kids: Book produced by the Yellowstone National Park to help kids discover the world's first national park, connect with the wonders of nature, and engage in the promise of tomorrow. Get excited for an upcoming trip to Yellowtsone, discover Yellowstone on your visit, and support and protect special places like Yellowstone after your return home. Available from Yellowstone Forever bookstores (76 pages, $10.95).

Last updated: May 18, 2018

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168


(307) 344-7381

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