Although I travel the world in search of cool accessible travel finds, I’m just as excited to discover one right in my own backyard. Such was the case last week, when I went over to check out the new Rush Creek Lodge, just outside the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park.
Billed as the first new Yosemite area property to be built in over 25 years, this 143-room resort blends perfectly into the surrounding hillside and offers excellent access for wheelchair-users and slow walkers.
We spent a lot of time looking at and photographing the accessible rooms for my next book, Barrier-Free Travel; Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, and I have to say they did a great job with access. They have accessible rooms with roll-in showers or tub/shower combinations, that have plenty of space and a variety of bed configurations. Choice is certainly the key word at this property. And I also have to say that the balconies are huge – even with a full contingent of furniture there’s still ample room for even the largest wheelchair or scooter on them.
But I was particularly wowed by the public areas, which offer excellent pathway access.. The salt water pool is gigantic, and of course lift equipped, and there are two lift-equipped hot tubs. There’s plenty of room to navigate a wheelchair or scooter around the pool area, which is furnished with lounges, tables and chairs. Plus there’s a comfy fire pit area with these cool modern-looking oblong brick fire pits. Although most folks go to Yosemite to see the park, I can certainly see hanging around an extra day just to enjoy the pool area.
But the thing I like best about Rush Creek Lodge is that it offers another accessible lodging choice for Yosemite visitors. And it’s also a YARTS stop, so you can park your car for the duration and hop on the accessible YARTS bus to the visitor center, and then explore the park from the accessible park shuttles.
So in my book, Rush Creek Lodge gets a huge thumbs-up on all fronts! Check it out on your next Yosemite visit – you won’t be disappointed.