Celebrate National Junior Ranger Day!

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The roots of the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program date back to the 1930s, when Yosemite National Park launched their Junior Naturalist Program. That program ran until 1954, during which time other national parks launched programs for young visitors. Over the years these programs evolved and a national standard for the Junior Ranger Program was created in 2005. In 2007 the National Park Service celebrated the first National Junior Ranger Day. Continue reading

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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park Improvements Announced

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Although Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park already has many accessible trails, campgrounds and picnic areas, more access improvements and upgrades are coming to the park. Here are some of the highlights of their Accessibility Transition Plan, which was released in July 2021. Some improvements will be immediate, while others are in the long term plan; but in the end they will add up to better access for wheelchair-users and slow walkers. 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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Deal Directly with National Park Concessionaires for Best Access

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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

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Proposed National Park Fee Increases

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archesUnless 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

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Hot off the Press – My New Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon Book!

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Yosemite-cover-400x600I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest accessible travel title – “Barrier-Free Travel; Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers”. I had a great time researching this book – partly because I grew up in the area and I have fond memories of exploring Yosemite with my dad, but also because I now live close to the parks. And after 40 years of writing travel I’ve finally penned a book about my home turf! It’s about time. Continue reading

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Access Plusses Abound in Sequoia National Park

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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

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