Just For Kids!
The Junior Ranger program provides activities to help children learn more about the Grand Canyon and Grand Canyon National Park, the wonders that it contains, the fragile community that it sustains and how to help preserve it for their own children.
There are four steps involved in becoming a Junior Ranger :.
|Ravens||age 4 to 7|
|Coyotes||age 8 to 10|
|Scorpions||age 11 to 14|
Once all of the tasks have been completed a ranger will award a Junior Ranger Certificate and the child is then entitled to a special Junior Ranger patch.
A nominal fee of $1.50 is charged to offset the cost of the program.
Another excellent way to occupy children is to attend as many ranger programs as possible with them. These programs are highly enjoyable and extremely informative and the rangers that conduct them each have their own very distinct and frequently comical personalities. These programs are guaranteed to be beneficial to both you and your children. My favorite program is the evening "campfire" program which is held either at Mather Amphitheatre, Mather Campground or the Shrine Of The Ages. A list of other ranger programs can be found in the park newspaper, THE GUIDE, which you receive when you enter the park.
Click here to learn about split twig figurines.
Click here to learn how to make your own split twig figurine.
The Grand Canyon is not a petting zoo, please do not allow or encourage children to feed the wildlife. Feeding the wildlife reinforces negative behavior which may eventually result in premature death for the afflicted animals or in extreme circumstances animals having to be destroyed by the Park Service. This is not a job that the Park Service enjoys! Teach the children that Grand Canyon is the home of these animals and that they are just visitors.
The footing near and along the rim can be quite dangerous. The rock that most of the Grand Canyon is made of is very brittle and breaks very easily. Even though it looks safe enough it could just as easily give way beneath you and send you plummeting into the abyss.
Though statistics show that Mom or Dad is more likely to fall over the edge while trying to get that "special" photo, children should not run and play near the edge. It is very dangerous and could be the last thing they ever do.
Check out the on-line version of the park newspaper, THE GUIDE. This will give you some valuable hints about how to enjoy your visit to Grand Canyon National Park. When you get to the park you will be given a copy of the most recent paper edition at the entrance station. Statistics show that most people never even look at it and this is very disappointing as it contains lots of information that can make your visit much more enjoyable.
Head for the south rim Visitor Center for even more useful information. From this page you can also meet some of the rangers that work at the Visitor Center and see a list of some of the questions that people ask them.
When you get to the park the Visitor Center should be your first stop, after Mather Point, of couse. It will be on the right side of the road about a mile after the Mather Point turnout.
The Geology page has lots of useful information about how the Grand Canyon was formed, what type of rock it is composed of and why it looks the way it does.
There is also an on-line account of The Powell Expedition which describes the journey of the first men to traverse the full length of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
The Guided Tour is a great way to take a quick virtual tour of the park before you actual go there for real. Whether your heading for the north rim or the south rim this preview of the park's most famous sites will have you longing for more.
The Photo Gallery has some pretty good pictures of some of the other things that you can expect to see at the park.
If you are visiting the park around the middle of September you can attend the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival. This is a really great way to put you in the mood for visiting the park. There's nothing like it after a day of touring on the south rim or after a hot and sweaty day hike down the Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails. ( please take a shower first ) ;-)
You can also order a souvenir T-shirt on-line and help the Grand Canyon Trust protect the park at the same time. Actually Mom or Dad will have to do this for you. You can also get sweatshirts, ball caps and mouse pads.