Yosemite Fire Update – Should You Cancel Your Visit?

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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

Let’s Talk Statistics

graph-163509_1280I’m often asked if the number of disabled travelers has increased in the 20-plus years that I’ve been covering accessible travel. Well, from an anecdotal view of things I usually answer that question with a enthusiastic yes. Of course it’s not like I’ve done a survey or anything. Continue reading

Florida State Parks Offers Great Deal for Veterans

Charles with his Florida StatePar Pass

Charles with his Florida StatePar Pass

If a trip to Florida is in your future and you are an honorably discharged veteran, then the good folks at Florida State Parks have a money-saving deal for you. All veterans – no matter when they served – get a 25% discount on a Florida State Parks Individual Annual Pass or a Family Annual Pass; while veterans with a service-connected disability are eligible to receive a free lifetime Military Entrance Pass (which offers the same benefits as the Family Annual Pass). Continue reading

A Tale of Two Caregivers

I get a lot of feedback from my readers, and although most times it’s from travelers, this week I’ve had a interesting exchange with two different caregivers. Which prompted me to ask the hypothetical question, “Does a caregiver’s attitude play a large role in influencing the perceived abilities of the person in their care?” And furthermore, “Does that perception directly affect the behavior and attitude of that person?” Continue reading

Adaptive Kayaking in Baja California

If you like to kayak, or maybe just think you’d like to give it a shot, then have I ever got a trip for you. Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) just announced their 2015 schedule, which kicks off with a cool week-long kayaking trip in Baja California. And the folks at ETC are the experts in adaptive paddling, so you couldn’t be in better hands. Continue reading

Longwood Gardens Debuts Accessible Meadow Garden

Boardwalk in new Meadow Garden at Longwood Gardens

Whenever I go back and visit my Pennsylvania friends, I just have to stop at Longwood Gardens. Located in Kennett Square, it’s about an hour from downtown Philadelphia, but believe me it’s well worth the drive. Continue reading

Road Trip Ups and Downs

After almost six weeks on the road it’s good to be home. We traveled 10,387  miles through 23 states and discovered tons of cool accessible lodgings, sites and activities, that I look forward to sharing with my readers. It was a very successful road trip. That said, as with any adventure, it was dotted with highs and lows. With that in mind, here are a few of my ups and downs from our Summer 2014 cross country road trip. Continue reading

Ride ‘Em Cowboy…and Cowgirl!

Team Roping -- not just for men at the Cody Night Rodeo

I’m a rodeo gal at heart. After all, some of my earliest memories are of the Clovis Rodeo, watching my dad ride saddle broncs and bulls. So I’m thrilled whenever I have the opportunity to take in a rodeo on my travels. Such was the case last night, when I got to enjoy the famous Cody Night Rodeo – the longest running night rodeo in the country. Continue reading

Wild Center Revisited

The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY

The last time I visited the Wild Center, it was on a hard-hat tour. Granted that was some time ago, but I don’t get back to Tupper Lake, NY that often, so I was thrilled when I was able to visit the finished facility last week. Continue reading

What’s Up With This Accessible Parking Spot?

"Accessible" parking spot in New Hope, PA?

I see a lot of different things as I cross the country, but this “accessible” parking spot really made me scratch my head yesterday. It is across the street from the New Hope, PA Visitors Center, and as far as I can tell it’s one of the very few accessible spots in town. Continue reading