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
If you’re looking for a heck of a winter hotel deal, then look no further than Lake Quinault Lodge. Located just outside of Olympic National Park on the south shore of Lake Quinault, this Northwestern Washington lodge is offering rates that start at a very affordable $87, from now until April 30, 2018. Continue reading
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard about the proposed peak season fee increase for 17 US National Parks. The National Park Service recently announced this increase, and cited that the additional funds are needed for repair, upkeep and improvements to the national parks. That said, it’s still a proposed increase, and if adopted it will only be effective during the peak seasons of these parks. The peak season fee at the following parks will increase to $70 under his proposal. Continue reading
If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably heard about the wildfires in Glacier National Park. Yes, it is smoky here, and some days are certainly better than others, but with the wildfires near my home in the Sierras are producing quite a bit of smoke too. The firefighters are doing a good job of protecting the historic structures in the park, none of which are immediately threatened. The did lose Sperry Chalet, but that was in a remote area of the park, and quite difficult to protect. A small portion of the park is closed near Lake McDonald Lodge, mostly as a precautionary measure, and to give firefighters unfettered access should the need arise to actively fight the flames near the park’s lakeside properties. Continue reading
Have you ever checked into a hotel, only to be asked if you wanted to donate $1 to a local organization to help make needed tourism improvements? This usually happens in or near national parks, and I always end up checking the box that obligates me to cough up an extra buck to help out. But I often wondered how much money really ends up directed to the local organizations, and – more important – did my dollar really make a difference? Continue reading
The good news is that the 26-mile stretch of road through Arches National Park is getting some major upgrades this year — an improvement which will ultimately result in a smoother traffic flow and less congestion in the park in the years to come.
The not-so-good news is that the construction will cause some major delays and closures this year. Continue reading
Since 1994, the National Park Service (NPS) lifetime Senior Pass, which is good for admission to all national parks and monuments, was available to US citizens and permanent residents age 62 or older for a mere song – just $10. That’s all set to change in 2017 when the cost will rise to that of a standard Annual Pass, or $80. And although you my think that’s quite a jump, it’s not a bad deal when you consider it’s good for the rest of your life. Continue reading
If your Halloween travels include a stop in Yosemite National Park, then don’t miss the spooktacular ranger program at Yosemite Cemetery on October 30 and 31, 2016. The hour-long walking tour includes historical – and sometimes creepy – stories about some of the people buried in the cemetery, which dates back to the 1870s. After the tour, more stories will be shared by the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum.
The Yosemite Cemetery is located across the street from the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Accessible street parking is located nearby. Alternatively, the lift-equipped park shuttle stops at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, which is just a short level walk from the museum. The hard-packed dirt paths through the cemetery are level, and although there are a few bumps near the entrance, they are navigable for most wheelchair-users and slow walkers. There are also benches to sit and rest along the way.
Two programs are held each night – one begins at 8:00, and the other begins at 9:00. Both sessions are appropriate for children, and they begin at the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Participants are reminded to dress warm and bring a flashlight. For more information, call (209) 372-1153.
Have a great Halloween at the Yosemite Cemetery!I
After spending the past three weeks exploring Sequoia National Park for my next book, Barrier-Free Travel; Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers (www.barrierfreeyosemite.com) I’ve come away with some observations about access in this often overlooked national treasure. Of course, as with any research trip there was good and bad, but on the plus side I have to say that the good far outweighed the bad on this Sequoia visit. With that in mind here are my top three “access plusses” – access features that totally wowed me – in the land of the giant sequoias. Continue reading
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. Continue reading