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
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
It’s been a long journey for the MiWuk people in Yosemite National Park, but it appears that things are finally moving forward on the construction of their traditional roundhouse on national park land. And the site is particularly significant, as it’s where their Wahhoga Village was once located, before the National Park Service leveled it in 1969. Continue reading
Many national parks have free loaner wheelchairs, and a few even have sand or beach wheelchairs, but as of May 2019 a loaner trackchair is now available at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (https://www.nps.gov/slbe/index.htm). This unique project was made possible by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, who purchased an Action Trackchair (http://actiontrackchair.com) last August, and subsequently worked with the National Park Service to implement a program that allows wheelchair-users and slow walkers to explore some of the more rugged areas of the national lakeshore. Continue reading
Just in time for the 100th birthday of Grand Canyon National Park, I’ve released my newest accessible travel title — Barrier-Free Travel; The Grand Canyon for Wheelers and Slow Walkers (www.barrierfreegrandcanyon.com). Not only does this helpful resource include Grand Canyon access information for wheelchair-users and slow walkers, but it also features a comprehensive access guide to Arizona’s Interstate 40 and Route 66.
As the government shutdown enters the second week, the national parks that have remained open are starting to suffer the consequences of limited staffing. Yosemite is no exception, and as a result park officials recently announced more closures and restrictions in the park. Continue reading
In an effort to make Oregon state parks more accessible, the Oregon State Parks Foundation (OSPF) recently invited 10 people with a spinal cord injry on a camping trip. But it wasn’t your ordinary camping trip — it was more of a research project. The goal was to identify the barriers that people with disabilities face in the state parks, and to ultimately remove those barriers.
What a great idea!
As you may have heard, there’s a large fire burning along the north shore of Lake Mc Donald that has led to the closure of some areas of Glacier National Park. That said the park is still open for business. The smoke is variable, and to be honest it depends on the wind direction. That said even though facilities are pretty limited on the west side, it’s still possible to stay there and explore the open areas of the park. Continue reading
As I was cruising down Interstate 15 near Kanarraville, Utah yesterday, I notice that the Kolob Canyons exit was closed. This was a bit troubling to me, as it’s one of my favorite parts of Zion National Park — mostly because the bulk of the crowds flock to Zion Canyon and completely pass up the Kolob Canyons Scenic Byway. Continue reading
I was thrilled to hear that in an effort to promote accessibility, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau recently announced a universal design contest aimed at their national scenic areas. Continue reading