Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim – Arizona

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Completed: July 31, 2014

Junior Ranger – Senior Friendly

Most people who visit Grand Canyon National Park go to the South Rim, it is easily accessible to major metropolitan areas, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and open year-round. The North Rim is more remote and only open from mid-May to mid-October. It is 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, so it gets more snow during the winter and the road leading to it closes when the snow covers the road. Once you get there it is a different experience than visiting the South Rim and well worth the effort. Even at the height of the summer vacation season the crowds are significantly less.

Grand Canyon National Park is different than most parks as they do have different Junior Ranger programs for different parts of the park. I was able to complete the Phantom Ranch program ( see February 4th post) this past January when I spent several days at the bottom of the canyon, a very unique experience. This summer we spent an afternoon at the North Rim and I was able to complete their program.

This program is considered Senior Friendly because the upper age group is listed as ages 12 and up. The three age groups are designated by animals found in the area; Horned Lizard for ages 5 – 7, Kaibab Squirrel for ages 8 – 11 and Mountain Lion for ages 12 and up. For each age group you complete the pages that show your animal at the top of the page. For the Mountain Lion there were right pages and you are to complete at least five of the pages plus attend a park ranger program.

I attended the ranger program about geology that was held on the back porch of the lodge. Great location, looking right into the canyon. On the day I was there, during the program, a summer rain storm was over the South Rim adding to the beauty of the canyon. The ranger did a great job explaining the very complex geology of the canyon. She had great examples of the different rocks, as well as images of the environments through the ages.

Ranger program

The activities for the Mountain Lion level includes; Explore with Your Senses, My Grand Canyon Poem, Erosion Zone, Fossil Finds, Grand Canyon Crossword Puzzle, Burning Up, On the Edge and the final activity which is required of all age groups, How Friendly are you to the Environment?.

On the poem page a new style, for me, of poem was explained, Cinquain. I will leave it to you to find the explanation of the form used for this style. Below is my creation.
large, loud
flapping, squawking, perching
entertain me when camping

Bison herd near entrance

I also enjoyed the page titled On the Edge, it is about the California Condor. By using the words provided in the Word Bank you complete a story about this bird brought back from extinction by the efforts of many individuals and groups.

Once my booklet was reviewed by a ranger I was awarded the Junior Ranger badge. This badge is considered an enhanced badge, the image is different from the standard NPS design. This badge features Brighty, a mule considered the mascot for the North Rim. With the certificate completed by the ranger I was able to purchase, for less than $3, the attractive Mountain Lion patch.

On the certificate pictured below you will notice two passport stamps. I stamped the certificate, without checking the date, and then saw the date of “Aug 33 2014”. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for the date to be changed on the passport stamps. It is always a good idea to check the date before you stamp. A lesson learned, again!

Booklet & badge



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