Canyonlands National Park
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
r e g n a R r o i n u J
EXP LORER GUID E
WELCOME, A DV ENTURERS! Junior rangers explore, learn about, and help national parks. The activities in this guide are mileposts in your learning adventure. Ready? Let’s go!
Choose your level and... Cairn level: 4 book pages Spire level: 7 book pages Mesa level: the whole book
...go on at least three adventures. Attend a ranger program.
Go on a hike.
Spend 10 quiet min. outside
Pick up litter safely.
Share something you learned with a friend or relative.
Hold a safety meeting with your family. Is everyone ready to have a safe adventure? Use the park map to choose a place to explore. Where to?
CHECK LIST How will the weather shape your plans?
L ot s o f w a te r Fo o d a n d s n a c ks
E x t ra l a y e rs Pa r k m a p Check that you have what you need. Write in other things you should bring.
What is your plan in case someone gets separated from the group?
Safety brainstorm! Make a list of good and not so good ideas for safety. HOW TO STAY SAFE
WHAT NOT TO DO
2 PLANT DETECTIVE Find a prickly plant. Does it look like a yucca, prickly pear cactus, or something else? Draw your plant and write your answer.
The prickly plant I found is a:
Find a tree. Use the pictures below to decide if it’s a juniper or pinyon pine or another species. Draw your tree and write your answer.
The tree I found is a:
3 HOME SWEET HABITAT L IZ A R D
likes rocks to hide under and grass where bugs hang out
live on steep cliffs where no predators dare to follow
If you were an animal in what Canyonlands habitat would you live? WETLANDS RIVER
Draw a picture of you as an animal in your habitat. Include what you would need to survive.
ACK CHUB PB
BI G H O R
Draw a line to match these desert animals with their habitat (home in nature).
lives in the Colorado River and grows up in flooded banks
4 FIND YOUR WAY Get out your park map (or the park newspaper). You will see that the park has four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers. Which district are you in right now?
Find the legend on your map and use it to fill in the missing labels below . Overlook/ Paved road
PAVED ROAD Unpaved 2-wheel-drive road
High-clearance, 4-wheel-drive road Locked gate Hiking Trail
Picnic area Drinking Water
Designated Backpacking Site
If you’re in Island in the Sky, find Shafer Trail on your map. If you’re in The Needles, find Elephant Hill. Could you drive on these roads in your car?
FILL IN YOUR ANSWERS ON THIS MAP.
What two rivers meet in the park? What is the name for the place where the rivers meet? How long is the hike to that point? miles Is this a good hike for your group?
Topographic maps show the shape of the land. Draw a line to match the places with how they look on a ‘topo’ map.
AZTEC BUTTE is a hill with flat land on one side and a steep drop off on the other.
TOPO MAP HINTS:
Close-together lines show steep land that climbs up or drops off. Widely spaced lines show flat land with little change up or down.
CYCLONE CANYON has rock towers called spires on both sides.
Hills look like many circles inside each other. The inside circle shows the very top. The tops of spires look like tiny circles.
TURKS HEAD is a small tower inside a bend of the Green River.
BE AS OLD AS A GRANDPARENT BY THE TIME IT HEALED.
HOTO NEAL H E SP RB ER T
DON’T STEP ON THE SOIL CRUST! IT TAKES SO LONG TO GROW THAT YOU WOULD
5 MORE THAN DIRT
Here is a science phrase for you: biological soil crust. Can you figure out what it means? Circle the answers below. Bio means: A) ice cream B) smelly C) life D) cold Soil means: A) flamingo B) sky C) hula hoop D) dirt Crust means: A) hard layer B) sandwich C) river D) hat Hint: The ground is alive!
Biological soil crust is a mix of tiny living things growing on the dirt. Why do we care? This soil is like a mini town that helps the park! Draw a line to match the parts of a town to the ways biological soil crust helps the park! grocery store
Biological soil crust BUILDS LAND by gluing dirt together. Biological soil crust MAKES FOOD for plants and animals! Biological soil crust GIVES HOMES to plants and animals.
6 JUNIOR RANGER ROLE MODELS Junior rangers show others how to explore safely and respect wild places. Below, circle good role model actions. Draw an X over the actions that could hurt you or the park.
Pick one role model action. Why is it a good idea?
Pick one action that isn’t a great idea. Why is it not the best choice? What would a junior ranger do instead?
Below, match stories with their setting in the landscape. Fill in the circles with the matching number.
2. KAYENTA FORMATION
1. WHITE RIM SANDSTONE
This famous rock layer outlines canyons and caps towers. Today, White Rim Road winds around this rock layer at the canyon rim. You can drive on, mountain bike on, or hike on the road.
You might be walking on the same ground that dinosaurs walked! Dinosaur tracks and mud cracks have been found in the Kayenta Formation, which was left behind by ancient streams. At Grand View Point, you’re standing on this rock layer.
Imagine traveling through this wild land with no map. John Wesley Powell set out to map the Colorado River in 1869. He saw where the Colorado and Green rivers meet. Today this spot is called the Confluence.
BONUS: LABEL THE MOUNTAIN RANGE ON THE LEFT OF THIS PICTURE.
4. MINING ROADS
Can you find a straight line cutting through the view? It’s a mark on the land left by mining equipment before this became a park. Imagine what it took to build roads across these steep cliffs and down into the canyon.
6. THE NEEDLES
Striped like candy canes, The Needles are spires made of rock from ancient beaches. Today, a whole section of the 5. ABAJO MOUNTAINS park is named for them. The water and grass of this area How did people survive here before grocery stores? once brought cowboys and For early Native Americans, their camps. 7. WINGATE SANDSTONE the Abajo Mountains gave precious water used to Woah! This rock grow beans, corn, and layer’s sheer cliffs squash. The Abajos lie kept cattle stuck on south of Canyonlands Island in the Sky. That National Park. helped cowboys in rounding up herds.
We don’t need screens here—thousands of stories are shown in the stars each night. You can enjoy these stories or make up your own. Go stargazing! Find a safe place with a good view. Remember to bring the basics like water, food, flashlight, and warm clothes.
Scorpius What Westerners call ui’s Ma Hawaiians see as nomy Fishhook. Chinese astrong Qīng calls it part of Dōng Fā on. In Lóng, the Azure Drag ok for Lo winter it disappears. chasing r ve re Orion instead, fo e stars. the scorpion across th
Above, draw your own constellation—a picture in the stars. What is your star story? Show a family member or friend your constellation, and tell them its story.
PHOTO BY DAN DURISCOE
8 STAR STORIES
Canyonlands is full of amazing shapes—read some of the names on the map! Draw or write a story about one of Canyonlands’ wild places. You can chose from the list of real places below, make something up, or go out in the park and look for ideas.
My wild place is named N LA N DS : REA L P LA CE S IN CA N YO ANGEL ARCH SHOE ARCH EN OD WO WHALE ROCK PAUL BU NYANS POTTY LL HI NT HA EP EL DEVILS KITCHEN
10 WILDERNESS DREAMS Use your map to find the places listed below. Then, circle or write in an adventure you would like to take one day. Mountain bike White Rim Road
Backpack The Needles
Raft the rapids Cataract Canyon
How would your adventure be different than life at home?
What wild places near your home would you like to explore?
ll of wild Canyonlands is fues where ac pl e and remot mans the marks of hu easy to t no fade away. It’s erness, explore in wild come but those who go . back amazed
Backcountry drive The Maze
NEWSPAPER ROCK CAVE SPRING
See this site on your way in or out of the The Needles on Highway 211.
11 IF WALLS COULD TALK
The images left by early Native Americans help us understand their lives. We think about their connection to this place and wonder about our own.
Look at the pictures above, or find paintings or rock peckings in the park. What do you think the images mean? What messages do they share?
What images would tell the story of you, your family, and the place you are from? Draw your story. Try using symbols people from other cultures would understand.
12 MEET A ROCK The rocks in Canyonlands are stacked like a huge layer cake with many flavors. Each rock is unique. Find a rock to look at more closely. What color(s) is your rock? Circle the words that describe your rock. SMOOTH
DRAW OR DESCRIBE YOUR ROCK.
Is your rock made up of pieces of different sizes or is it the same throughout?
What makes your rock different from the rocks around it?
13 TAKE IT IN Find an inspiring place, and fill in the blanks of the sensory poem below. Read your poem to a friend or family member.
EX A M P
WHERE I AM:
M Y PA R K POEM :
THE WEATHER IS...
raven’s croak I HEAR...
freedom I FEEL...
WHERE I AM:
THE WEATHER IS...
I FEEL ...
ay in the As they s top sure to s . e b t, r e des froses ll the clif e m s d n a
Ask your group to have a discussion about wild places using this guide. Make sure everyone agrees to show respect for other ideas.
Let everyone take turns answering the questions below. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal is to understand each other’s ideas.
Which picture below best fits how you feel about wilderness—a place far from the marks of humans? Explain your choice. ( Have everyone write their name next to the picture they chose.)
What person or experience shaped how you feel about wilderness today?
What things make a place less wild for park visitors? Which of these do we need?
Who else would you like to talk to about wilderness? What will you ask them?
WHAT’S NEXT? Getting your junior ranger badge is just the beginning. Circle the role model actions you’ll do at home. RECYCLE
GROW A GARDEN
DON’T WASTE WATER
USE REUSABLE BAGS STUDY SCIENCE
ORGANIZE A CLEANUP
UNPLUG AND PLAY OUTSIDE START A CLUB
EXP LORE NATURE
SHARE PARK STORIES
Write your own junior ranger pledge or promise. You can use the word bank for ideas.
NATURE SHARE PROTECT
ROLE MODEL HISTORY
MAKE US PROUD, JUNIOR RANGER! Are you ready to become a certified junior ranger? Share this book with a park ranger. You’ll take the junior ranger pledge and go forth as a protector of parks. Check out these ideas for continuing the adventure. • Learn more about Canyonlands by visiting our park website: nps.gov/canyonlands • Check out a National Park Service site or other park close to your home!
Park Mailing Address Canyonlands National Park 2282 Resource Blvd. Moab, Utah 84532
• Become a web ranger at nps.gov/webrangers. Published by Canyonlands Natural History Assoc. www.chna.org / Moab, UT
Illustrations and design by Caitlin Campbell caitlincampbellart.squarespace.com
Authored by Caitlin Campbell & Canyonlands Junior Ranger Committee
I will explore the natural world and other cultures wherever I go. I promise to be safe and be a good example to others.
AS A JUNIOR RANGER, I promise to learn about, respect, and protect national parks, my community, and the earth.
CA NYON LA NDS NATIONA L PARK