Plan a Post-COVID Death Valley Winter Getaway

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I distinctly remember a girlfriends getaway camping trip to Death Valley many, many moons ago. We were young and foolish and the only time we could all get together was near the end of May. Donna said she wanted to go to Death Valley, and with little thought to anything like the weather, the rest of us were on board. I’ll spare you the gory details but the temperatures hit 120 that fateful week. Continue reading

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Finding Wheelchair-Accessible Restrooms on Public Lands in COVID-19 Times

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Accessible trail to overlook at Donnell Vista

The general line of thought for travel in these COVID-19 times is to take a road trip and try and steer clear of crowds. In other words, stay away from theme parks and instead head to our national parks and other public outdoor spaces. So that’s exactly what we did a few weeks ago – we packed the car and hit the road to the Eastern Sierras. Continue reading

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COVID-19 Travel — Visit Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove this Summer

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The Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove

As a lifelong Sierra National Forest  resident, normally I wouldn’t set foot in Yosemite National Park in the summer months. There are just way too many people there for my comfort, during what I affectionately refer to as the “stupid tourist season”. But this isn’t a normal year – it’s a COVID-19 year. So with day-use passes required, and visitation capped at my favorite national park, I decided to roll the dice and pay a visit to Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove one hot August day. And here’s the skinny on how you can do the same thing for a wheelchair-accessible day trip to this secluded giant sequoia grove. Continue reading

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Yosemite National Park – What’s Open and What’s Not

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Updated: June 23, 2020

Yosemite National Park recently reopened on a limited basis after the COVID-19 shutdown. The park is now operating on a reservation system.

 

 

For more information on the reservation system, visit http://barrierfreetravels.com/2020/06/yosemite-slated-to-open-reservations-for-day-use-required/.

And here’s the rundown on which facilities are open, and which ones are closed for the season. Continue reading

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Xanterra National Park Properties Plan Reopening

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US National Parks are starting to open bit by bit. To that end here is the reopening schedule from the Xanterra Travel Collection – one of the largest national park concessionaires – for their lodges in and near some of the most popular national parks. All of the lodges listed below offer wheelchair-accessible rooms.

Guests are requested to wear masks or face coverings in all public areas. Continue reading

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Rocky Mountain National Park Now Requires Reservations to Enter

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Beginning June 4, 2020, Rocky Mountain National Park will require visitors to have an entry permit or a camping reservation in order to enter the park. Entry permit reservations will available in blocks of two hours beginning at 6 a.m. each morning. The goal of this timed entry system is to allow the park to open in a way that gives visitors and staff an opportunity to comply with Federal, State and Local COVID-19 public health guidelines. Continue reading

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Ditch the Crowds and Add These Stops to Your Summer Road Trip

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The past month has been rough on the travel industry – and on travelers. Cruises have been cancelled, travel has been disrupted and people are thinking twice about getting on an airplane. Folks who are immunocompromised, and those over a certain age (and that age varies depending on which expert you consult) have been urged to stay away from crowds, and even to avoid cruise travel. And although some folks call that fear mongering, I think it’s just plain old common sense. Continue reading

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Buyer Beware – Not All “National Park” Lodges are Equal

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As a writer who has spent the last 20-some years visiting and writing about wheelchair access in our US national parks, (and just released a book about accessible national park lodges — www.BFNationalParkLodges.com), I’ve seen a lot of changes in the parks over the years. Some of the changes are due to the availability of new technology and equipment, but the bulk of them have been spurred on by increased visitation to these national treasures. Continue reading

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Win a Stay at Tenaya Lodge!

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Yosemite Falls

If you’ve ever visited Yosemite National Park, then start flipping through your photos to find an entry for the “Dream Yosemite Adventure” photo contest. And the best part of this contest is that it’s easy. All you have to do is submit a favorite Yosemite photo – there’s no limit on how old it can be – and you don’t have to beg friends to share, like or comment on the photo. Continue reading

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