Grand Canyon National Park offers ranger programs throughout the park. Whether you are visiting the South Rim, North Rim, Desert View, Indian Garden, or Phantom Ranch, park rangers have programs for people of all ages, abilities, and interests.
Ranger programs are conducted throughout the park. Some are presented indoors, some as guided hikes, some along paved trails through the ancestral Puebloan village of Tusayan Museum along the East Rim Drive. Those at Phantom Ranch are held outside on wooden benches under huge cottonwood trees with the sound of Bright Angel Creek as background. It’s hard to beat that setting! You can learn more about the ranger programs on the Park Service page and download the program schedule from there. They also have 2-minute audio tours that you can download to your phone to listen to at various points along the South Rim.
For families with children ranging in age from 4 – 14, there is a wonderful and fun program called the Junior Ranger program. Be sure to get your child a packet to help them become a Junior Ranger. It’s free of charge and geared to different age groups. Ages 4 – 7 can earn the Raven Award; ages 8-10 the Coyote Award; and ages 11- on up the Scorpion Award. And there is even a special award for those only given to those who make it to Phantom Ranch that’s called the Phantom Rattler!
There are fun junior ranger activities for children on the rim as well! During the summer months, children 9 – 14 can join a ranger-guided hike on the challenging Hermit Trail for the Junior Ranger Adventure Hike. Young visitors ages 2 – 6 can join a ranger on the lawn behind the El Tovar Hotel for a half-hour Storytime Adventure. And then there are the programs geared towards ages 6 – 12-year-olds called Way Cool Stuff For Kids and Kids Rock! located at the Shrine of the Ages where the children are actually part of the program! They learn and have fun at the same time!
Completion of any of these programs qualifies the kids for their Junior Ranger badge! The Junior Ranger badges are free once the child completes the activities included in the booklet and presents them to a ranger.