Despite the Fire, Glacier National Park is Still Open for Business!!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

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

Zion National Park Gets Access Upgrades

Kolob-ViewpontAs 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

Yosemite Fire Update – Should You Cancel Your Visit?

yosemite-falls-2

UPDATE – August 12, 2018 – The Mariposa Grove and Wawona are expected to reopen on Monday August 13. Yosemite Valley is expected to reopen on Tuesday August 14. Highway 140 (through Arch Rock) and Highway 120 (through Big Oak Flats) will be the only roads that lead to the valley. There will be no access to Yosemite Valley from the South Entrance due to firefighting activity just west of Tunnel View. Conversely, the only way to access Wawona and the Mariposa Grove is from the South Entrance. Services in the park will be limited, and it’s still smoky.

UPDATE 8-7-18 –  Yosemite Valley is still closed and there is no date set for it to reopen. Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Glacier Point, Crane Flat, Big Oak Flat and Hetch Hetchy are also closed When these areas of park do reopen it’s expected that visitor services will be extremely limited there. The main objective now is firefighter safety.

The only park entrance that is open is the East Entrance. There is no access to the park from the west

Highway 140 to the Arch Rock entrance is now open (the entrance is closed).

Highway 120 from Groveland to Crane Flat should be open soon (they are doing a safety check and hope for it to open by noon today) but there will be no access to Yosemite Valley; however there will be access to Tioga Road.

The South Entrance will most likely be the last entrance to open.

UPDATE – 8/3/18: The ONLY park entrance open now is the East entrance off of Highway 395, north of Mammoth Lakes. I have had e-mails from many folks who had alternatively planned to stay on the west side near the park and then were going to try to enter the park at Big Oak Flats. THIS IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE. I strongly suggest basing yourself on the east side, (Mammoth Lakes) and enjoy Mono Lake, Bodie & Devils Postpile, and then check out Tenaya Lake (inside the park) on Tioga Pass Road. 

 

UPDATE – 7/24/18: Highway 41, Wawona and Yosemite Valley will be closed as of 8-25-18 at noon. Visitors will be asked to leave the park. This is being done in hopes of setting up a firebreak to stop the spread of the Ferguson Fire.

Since I live near Yosemite and write about the park often, I’ve gotten a lot of inquires lately about the Ferguson Fire, which is burning nearby. And the main question seems to be – “Should I cancel my Yosemite visit”? Continue reading

Candy’s Top Five Accessible Yellowstone Picks

Yellowstone National park is the quintessential road trip destination. Many folks have fond memories of packing up the family station wagon and heading over to Wyoming to experience this national treasure in their youth; while others have the nation’s first national park on their bucket list. I was pleased to be able to spend two months there last year while I researched Barrier-Free Travel; Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers (www.BarrierFreeYellowstone.com); and in that time I left no stone unturned in my search for cool accessible trails and attractions. And although it’s hard to pick one favorite, here are my top five accessible Yellowstone must-dos. Continue reading

National Park Service Announces Modest Fee Increases

The accessible Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park

The accessible Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park

In response to a massive influx of complaints, the National Park Service announced yesterday that it will drastically scale back their original plan to raise entrance fees in some of the nation’s most popular national parks. The original proposal called for nearly doubling the entrance fees during the peak season at 17 national parks. Continue reading

Deal Directly with National Park Concessionaires for Best Access

Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Researching national park access can be tedious, especially where lodging is concerned. National park lodges are operated by concessionaires, who operate under strict guidelines, and are responsible for the repair, improvement and daily operation of the facilities. Continue reading

Reflections on Washington National Parks – My Five Favorite Accessible Travel Finds

washington-parks-cover-750x1125 (1)Now that my newest national park title is released (www.barrierfreeolympic.doc), it’s time to sit back and reflect on my time in Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades national parks. Even though these Washington state gems contain some pretty rugged terrain, they also boast a veritable treasure trove of accessible trails, attractions and lodging options. And although it’s hard to pick just one favorite, here are my top five accessible travel finds in Washington’s national parks. Continue reading

National Parks to Remain Open During Government Shutdown

You just can't beat the views from the rim

You just can’t beat the view in Grand Canyon National Park

There’s nothing more frustrating than planning all year for a vacation, only to have it ruined by an unforeseen event, such as a government shutdown. I know this first hand, as I was out and about covering some national parks during the 2013 shutdown, and the gates were locked and facilities were closed. I had to reschedule my visits at a later time, so I could complete my book. Trust me, I was not a happy camper. Continue reading

Help Florida State Parks Beef Up Access

boardwalkLet’s face it, Florida State Parks were hit hard by Hurricane Irma. All 168 State Parks shut down when the stormed raged through the state in September; and although some parks escaped damage all together, others weren’t so lucky. Sadly, Bahia Honda, Indian Key and Long Key State Parks sustained the brunt of the damage in the Florida Keys.

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