Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

Just For Kids

Be A Junior Ranger

Petrified Forest National Park welcomes kids to learn more about the ancient environment of the Late Triassic - when the petrified trees were alive and dinosaurs roamed the land.

Junior Rangers "Explore, Learn, and Protect" their national parks. Become a Junior Ranger and you can learn about fossils, human history, wilderness and more! You'll even receive a gold badge so that you will not forget how important you are to the National Park Service.

Would you like to become a Junior Ranger? Once you arrive in the park stop by the Painted Desert Visitor Center, Painted Desert Inn, or Rainbow Forest Museum to ask for a Junior Ranger Activity Booklet.

The park is always happy to add another name to their Junior Ranger team. They invite YOU to become a member of this very special group of people. When you take the time to learn about the park and its valuable resources, you will be able to share your knowledge with friends and family to help them understand why Petrified Forest National Park is a special place.


Curriculum-based Education Program

Wouldn't it be great if you could incorporate lessons from the classroom into a real world, hands-on experience? You can! Petrified Forest National Park has a curriculum-based program aligned with the Arizona Science (5-24-04) and Mathematics Standards for Grades 4-8: Rockin' Through the Ages: From Fossils to Petroglyphs.

Guided In-Park Ranger Programs

In addition to the curriculum-based program, the park offers ranger programs for more informal field trips. Here are some examples, although they can always try to cater to your specific education needs.

  • Talk inside Rainbow Forest Museum followed by a walk on the Giant Logs Trail, learning about petrified wood and other fossils, the Triassic Period, and erosion.
  • Hike on the Blue Mesa Trail getting up close and personal with the badlands landscape and petrified wood.
  • Tour of Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark seeing the craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps and murals painted by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie.
  • Walk at Puerco Pueblo and its associated petroglyphs learning about the ancestral Puebloan people and their lifestyle.

Classroom Visits

If you are not able to make it to Petrified Forest National Park and live within about 100 miles of the park, they may be able to arrange for a park ranger to visit your classroom. Here are some examples of possible classroom programs, although they can always try to cater to your specific education needs.

  • Conducting lessons taken from the Rockin' education manual.
  • Discussion of petrified wood and fossil formation, including the Triassic Period.
  • Storytelling using a park-specific story, The Tourist, the Park Ranger, and the Petrified Forest.