Are you ready to learn more about some great ways to have fun in your California State Parks? And, are you between 7 and 12 years old? Then become a Junior Ranger!
Junior Rangers gather at more than 70 state parks, from the redwood region, to the high Sierra, to the sunny Southern California beaches.
At your first Junior Ranger program you will get a logbook and badge like the ones pictured on this page. Play games, hike trails, create your own animal, discover tracks, observe wildlife, all while making friends your own age in some of the best places in California. For each activity you will earn a stamp in your logbook. And that's not all, as you go through the program, one activity at a time, you will earn some very cool rewards!
There are 12 different Junior Ranger activity areas. Geology, ecology, history, safety, plants, and wildlife are some of the activity areas you will be exploring.
You can participate at one park over several days, or you can start at one park, and then do other programs at different parks. You should plan to spend about an hour at each activity, and you will have so much fun!
The Junior Ranger Program is offered free of charge to visitors who have already paid park entrance or camping fees. Not all of the state parks participate in these programs. So, to find out which parks offer Junior Ranger activities. Call the park at the listed number for the program schedule. You can also visit the state parks Upcoming Events webpage, where dates and times are listed for Junior Ranger programs at many parks. (Not all Junior Ranger programs are listed on the events page.)
View the document List of California State Park Junior Ranger Program locations
*New Dual Language State Park Junior Ranger Program*
Over the summer of 2020, close to 10,000 kids and parents participated in our Virtual Junior Ranger Programs. With so much success and public support, many staff statewide wanted to see these programs continue. Working together, educators of California State Parks, known as Interpreters, developed a dual language Junior Ranger program. We hope that by providing a program that combines both English and Spanish, it will help children develop language skills. Provide an understanding of the extraordinary resources in their California State Parks, and provide them with fun activities they can do at home. At the same time, we are rewarding them for being future stewards of their parks.
Kids can click on the link and go through 6 different modules. These are self-paced activities.
As kids watch the videos, they will need to look out for the code word! This code word is what they will email to our State Park Coordinator. Once he has the code word, he will reward them with a digital badge. After they have earned three badges, they will be eligible for a physical California State Park Junior Ranger badge. Completion of all six programs will earn them the Junior Ranger Patch.
The Statewide Junior Ranger Coordinator is Peter Ostroskie; you may email him at Peter.Ostroskie@Parks.ca.gov. Peter will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about the program.
Summer 2020 Virtual Junior Ranger Recordings
Over this summer many parks joined in presenting new virtual Junior Ranger programs. Recordings from certain presentations have been uploaded to a new Youtube channel that you can view at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaUEcEDSM5VYhcV515Izmag?view_as=subscriber .
Other Junior Ranger Activities
No program at the park you're going to visit? We also offer the Junior Ranger Adventure Guide in English and Spanish. You can print it out before you go to the park and then have fun doing the activities with your whole family. When you've finished all the fun activities in the guide, you win an award!
There are also special Junior Ranger Adventure Guides for each of these parks. Fill them in and learn more about the park when you visit. Show your completed booklet to park staff, and you can collect your Junior Ranger badge.
Angel Island State Park (PDF, 5.23 MB)
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (PDF, 2.47 MB)
Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (PDF, 270 KB)
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (PDF, 536 KB)
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (PDF, 2.63 MB)
Saddleback Butte State Park (PDF, 3.33 MB)