Canyonlands National Park

I couldn’t find an actual web page for Canyonlands National Park Junior Ranger program, but I have posted a link to the official Canyonlands National Park For Kids web page, which discusses the Junior Ranger Program:

http://www.nps.gov/cany/forkids/index.htm

I was a little surprised that Canyonlands does not have a page dedicated to their Junior Ranger program, as it is highly promoted in the Visitor Center at Island in the Sky.

Free Junior Ranger booklets are available at park visitor centers. After completing certain exercises, participants earn a Junior Ranger badge and signed certificate. Activities are designed for ages 5 and up.

Canyonlands Badge

Junior Ranger patches are available for a small fee in the bookstore. I am guessing that each district at Canyonlands may have its own Junior Ranger Patch, because the one we purchased at Island in the Sky, had Island in the Sky embroidered on it.

To become a Canyonlands National Park Junior Ranger, you need to complete the activities in the Junior Ranger booklet according to your age or learning level. The categories were ages 5 to 7, 8 to 10 and 11 and up. The activities in the booklet were age appropriate. Alyssa, who was seven at the time actually completed the activities for ages 8 to 10.

The Junior Ranger also has to do one of the following:
1. Attend a ranger led program.
2. Pick up some litter in the park.
3. Watch the park video at the visitor center.

My family visited Canyonlands, Island in the Sky District on March 30, 2010. I was very impressed with the promotion of the Junior Ranger Program in the visitor center. Not only was it heavily promoted, there was a table for kids to work at.

The girls received their booklets at the visitor center and before doing anything in the park, we attended a Ranger Program led by Ranger Karen Henker. The program was call Desert Survival. It was apparent that Ranger Henker loves her job. She had several different props that encouraged everyone attending to participate in her program. The program was taught at a level were participants of all ages learned and interacted in the program.

Island in the Sky also had a self-guided book with pictures designed specifically for children. One of the rangers at the visitor center told us about the book, which needs to be checked out and returned the same day. It was very useful while exploring sites throughout the park.

It was a very windy day at Canyonlands during our visit. After attending the Ranger Program, we drove to the trail head of Upheaval Dome and hiked to the first overlook, which is 1 mile round trip with a 50 foot elevation change. After that we drove down to the Grand View Point Overlook. The views were fabulous. You can hike out about a mile; however, like I stated above, it was super windy and sand was blowing everywhere. So we didn’t venture to far and just enjoyed the scenery and Colorado River below.

After visiting the Grand View Point Overlook, we returned to the visitor center. Ranger Nathaniel Clark reviewed the girls Junior Ranger Booklets. Ranger Clark spent several minutes with the girls going over what they had learned during our visit. It also was obvious that Ranger Clark loves his job.

I would like to thank both Ranger Henker and Ranger Clark for making our visit a better experience.

There are two other districts at Canyonlands National Park: The Needles and the The Maze. The Maze is very remote and the only access by car is on unpaved 4-wheel drive roads; however, when watching the park video, it looks like a great place to camp and explore. I can’t wait to go back.

 

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