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“geared toward providing specific information for people with disabilities so they may go where everyone else has gone before.” And many have “gone before.” According “If functional accessible lodging is not available, why go there?” 28 inMotion Volume 24, Issue 4 July | August 2014 to the National Park Service (NPS), 273 million people visited our national parks last year, and accessibility features are part of 397 national park sites. The NPS says it has made a commitment to make national parks accessible to everyone, and information for disabled travelers should be readily accessible on the parks’ individual Web sites (nps.gov). A little known fact is that people with disabilities have free access to national parks. The Access Pass is available through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Web site to U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. A park entrance pass for the general public is $80 per year or $10 for seniors, but the Access Pass is a free lifetime permit, providing access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. The USGS adds that the Access Pass also provides the pass owner with discounts on expanded amenities, which may include camping, swimming, boat launching and guided tours. Available with documentation of disability and valid identification, the Access Pass is available at the entrance to any of the federal parks or online at: store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html. “There are lots of accessible trails, lodging options and plenty of places to handcycle in the Grand Canyon,” Candy explains. “Although the iconic mule ride is not accessible, there is a little-known driving route down to the bottom of the canyon, located on tribal land, plus the Grand Canyon Skywalk and Railway.” “All the shuttles and most of the ground transportation at Yosemite National Park are accessible, as are many of its trails and campgrounds,” Candy adds. “Yellowstone is also very accessible with boardwalks through the thermal fields, accessible campgrounds and many other features.” And, she adds, don’t count out beaches: “I love San Diego, because there are accessible power beach wheelchairs to borrow. The beaches also have surf chairs so you can go into the water too.” And if getting high is your thing, Candy says there’s an accessible hot air balloon in Windsor, California – the only one in America that accommodates wheelchairs. It has a fold-down boarding basket and a plexiglass side so the viewing field is wide open to wheelchairs. There are also a variety of more active or extreme sports options for natural thrill seekers. “The National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colorado probably has the most experience with adapted recreation for all ages and abilities,” Karen advises. Ron adds that great options are available for people with special needs, including:


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