Junior Ranger Program


Meet Grandfather’s best friend, Yonni!

Hi, Junior Rangers! I’m Yonni, a Yonahlossee Salamander from Grandfather Mountain! I help kids explore the mountain and use what they learn at home, too!

When you visit Grandfather Mountain, you can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the display beside the paved path as you start down to the animal habitat area to get to know me better. It’ll take you on a fun scavenger hunt, help you explore a trail, learn cool facts about the nature around you, and let you meet some of my friends. Before you leave the park, take your completed Junior Ranger booklet to the Entrance Gate to take the official Junior Ranger pledge and receive your honorary badge.

I ask my Junior Rangers to do one thing to protect the planet — anything you want! We don’t all have to do everything, but we do have to help take care of the world we live in. What will you do? Maybe:

—Turn off the lights when you leave a room?
— Recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans?
— Remind your family to bring along reusable bags when they shop?
— Turn off the water when you brush your teeth?

Stay up-to-date with the Junior Ranger Program when you leave the park!

Junior Rangers now have their own home on the web at grandfather.com/juniorranger.

Here you’ll find the quarterly Junior Ranger newsletter that includes games, trivia, and information about what’s happening at Grandfather Mountain! With parents’ permission, kids can submit their own photos, drawings and artwork to juniorranger@grandfather.com to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!

Special Events that are Fun for Junior Rangers

Weather & Climate Observations
Daily, year-round 

Help members of the Naturalist staff take weather and climate observations in front of the Fudge Shop at 11 a.m. every day.
Free with park admission.

Animal Enrichments
Offered daily April – October

An enrichment is anything that breaks up an animal’s day — maybe a special scent or toy newly introduced into their habitat. Visitors to Grandfather are encouraged to view the animal enrichments, as they provide a great opportunity to see each animal active and close to the overlook of the habitat. No additional cost.

11 am: Deer Overlook
11:30 am: Bear Overlook
12 pm: Otter Overlook
12:15 pm: Cougar Overlook
1:00 pm: Bear Overlook
1:30 pm: Deer Overlook
2:00 pm: Bear Overlook
2:30 pm: Cougar Overlook
3 pm: Otter Overlook
3:30 pm: Bear Overlook

Behind the Scenes Tours
Offered on weekends, April – October

See where the cougars and otters sleep overnight, meet black bears that are not commonly on display, learn the ins and outs of what it takes to care for the animals year-round, observe a training session and find out why the animals call Grandfather Mountain home.

Keeper for a Day
Offered April – October

Come spend your day shadowing and working alongside the keepers of the Animal Habitats. Learn how to interact with the animals, clean up, prepare food and provide enrichments. Observe various training sessions, animal behavior and the inner workings of the animal habitats.

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