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On the edge: Visiting national parks

Recently, my husband and I took a road trip to northern Arizona to visit some national parks. I worried before we left home that I might not be able to do some things that I wanted to do, but was pleasantly surprised by the many accommodations made for people with disabilities.

Our first stop was Sunset Crater, where we toured the new Visitors Center before setting out to explore a hiking area designed for people with disabilities. The one-third mile circuitous path was paved and leveled for wheelchair accessibility. While there were many other hiking trails in the vicinity, this one was perfect for me.  

Sunset Crater handicapped accessible path

Our final destination was the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Due to its elevation, the North Rim is only open from mid-May to mid-October. Even at the end of May, we encountered snow showers!

We talked to a Park Ranger and obtained an Accessibility Guide. We read it and perused our guide books, learning that there were a variety of trails open, ranging in difficulty from very easy to very difficult.

After reviewing our options, we decided on the trail that suited me best. With my walking stick in hand to ensure I kept my balance, I followed the trail and saw some breathtaking sights.


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Tips for visiting state or national parks

  • Check websites or call ahead to find out what activities or sites are available for people with disabilities
  • At the park's information center, ask if it has an   "Accessibility Guide"
  • Walk with a companion, always use a walking stick for balance, and stay on the pathways
  • Carry a cell phone in case of emergency
  • When planning your trip, look up disability travel and recreation resources on the web
  • Visit websites like Frommers which cover travel in national parks and recreation areas


on step back over the canyon rim...





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blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland