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Re: How accessible is the valley?

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How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 05:09PM
I've noticed that there are accessible sites in the valley. How accessible is the valley? Are there paved sidewalks and roads?
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 05:26PM
Can you be more specific? Do you mean something like wheelchair accessible? Other handicapped access? Or just something like "how much of the Valley can I see without hiking?"
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 05:27PM
I apologize. Yes, I meant wheelchair accessible.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 06:12PM
The valley is pretty wheelchair accessible especially if you have a pusher.



Old Dude
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 06:21PM
Here is the NPS accessibility guide for Yosemite.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 06:39PM
That guide will prob. answer all your questions.
I just want to point out that you may want take advantage and
drive to Happy Isles Nature Center and Mirror Lake.
Look in the guide for those.

Have fun!



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 08:22PM
Thank-you Nacci. I want to take my grandpa out of the house and travel a bit. Big cities are usually too difficult, and thought Yosemite might be worthwhile if I can at least push him around. I am sure there are a lot of great views from the valley and hoped that we would not be confined to the campsite.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 08:50PM
Quote
NacciNW
Here is the NPS accessibility guide for Yosemite.
They have copies of that Guide at every entrance station. Just ask for one. It's also being updated and a new version should be out in a few months.

Don't forget to get your relative an "Access Pass." It's a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Again, the entrance station will be glad to give your relative one. If you don't have a handicap parking tag, they'll help you with that too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2011 08:57PM by Dave.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 08:57PM
Quote
Dave
Don't forget to get your relative an "Access Pass." It's a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Again, the entrance station will be glad to give your relative one.

What do they want for documentation?
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 09:00PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
Don't forget to get your relative an "Access Pass." It's a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Again, the entrance station will be glad to give your relative one.
What do they want for documentation?
Your word.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 09:02PM
Quote
Dave
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
Don't forget to get your relative an "Access Pass." It's a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Again, the entrance station will be glad to give your relative one.
What do they want for documentation?
Your word.

Took a disabled friend camping at Upper Pines a few years ago. Wish I had known that was enough (she forgot her blue placard).
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 09:22PM
The Accessibility Guide I linked was last updated in August 2008. Some of it is not accurate. For example, a few of the Mariposa Grove trams are now wheelchair accessible. I'm glad to hear that a new Accessibility Guide will be published soon.

Glacier Point is wheelchair accessible. The trails at Mariposa Grove are not wheelchair accessible, but with advance permission a disabled guest can drive or ride in their car following the tram tour. You can pay for the audio tour or just follow for free.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 21, 2011 08:32PM
Quote
eeek
Took a disabled friend camping at Upper Pines a few years ago. Wish I had known that was enough (she forgot her blue placard).
The entrance station would have been glad to take care of that. Most people are honest and the rangers in the kiosk really have no way of determining if someone is handicapped or not. They're not doctors. Most people are honest and fraud is not really a problem.

If someone has a grandparent that's not handicapped; anyone over 62 can get a lifetime pass for $10.

If you have any questions and accessibility be sure to ask at the entrance station. They'll be glad to help. That's what they're there for.... besides taking your money.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2011 08:37PM by Dave.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 21, 2011 02:52AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Dave
Don't forget to get your relative an "Access Pass." It's a free lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Again, the entrance station will be glad to give your relative one.

What do they want for documentation?

I cant comment on that, but I do know that disabled veterans (over 40% disability rating when leaving the military in California) are entitled to a lifetime of free access to national parks.
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 06:30PM
The valley is pretty well traveled so access is nicely established. Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, and Hetch Hetchy would have access somewhat limited as there are trails that would not be wheelchair friendly. Most everything one would want to see though is accessible.



Old Dude
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 20, 2011 09:22PM
See http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm
Also check your private messages.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2011 10:55PM by Bob Weaver.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 21, 2011 08:41AM
Don't forget the miles of paved bike trails.

When the handicapped campsites and pathways to restrooms were being constructed, the plumber on site was wheelchair bound.

And I know a guy, 4WheelBob, who has gone up the Mist Trail in his custom chair.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 21, 2011 06:14PM
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hikerchick395
And I know a guy, 4WheelBob, who has gone up the Mist Trail in his custom chair.

That is quite impressive (presumably he just went up the JMT junction...it would be EXTREMELY impressive if he actually took it to the top of Vernal!

michaelrosso: In case this gives you ideas, just a heads up that you'd have to be in very good shape to get your Granddad up the Mist Trail. It is nicely paved up to the first view of the base of Vernal Fall but it's mostly very steep. However, as others have said, there are a ton of great views from easily accessible spots on the Valley Floor and places like Tunnel View, Glacier Point and parts of the Wawona area are also easily accessible once you drive there. (Some of the walkways at Glacier Point are a bit on the steep side but nothing like the Mist Trail...they're no problem walking...I'm just not sure how hard it would be to push someone in a wheelchair up them).

Good luck and hats off to you for taking the initiative to help your granddad experience this amazing place!

--David
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 21, 2011 06:37PM
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DavidK42
That is quite impressive (presumably he just went up the JMT junction...it would be EXTREMELY impressive if he actually took it to the top of Vernal!

I once saw a wheelchair at the top of Nevada. Several people had done the pulling to get it up the JMT.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 22, 2011 09:37AM
How did they pass the rocky areas like mist real? Did they have to carry him?
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 22, 2011 11:37AM
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Marksm
How did they pass the rocky areas like mist real? Did they have to carry him?

I didn't see. But they used the JMT instead of the Mist Trail so there weren't a lot of rocky parts.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 30, 2011 01:21AM
That is kinda amazing. Some people are very determined.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 22, 2011 10:29AM
My mother is in a wheelchair and I think if I were to bring her to yosemite, I would definately think about a heavy duty scooter. They are expensive to buy, but I wonder if a medical supply rents them (the one, near me, doesn't). One of those $2000 or $3000 dollar scooter would go up Happy Isles (Vernal and Nevada Falls). I think those can carry the back up battery under the feet, as well. Of couse you need a car that can carry it too.
I don't know what kind of shape your grandfather is in, but it's just an idea. Like someone stated above, I think you can push someone up that trail...need a few people to switch off/carry the chair across the sand (beginning trail).
The other trails you can drive up to about the base of where you need to go. A standard wheelchair will do fine. smiling smiley
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 22, 2011 05:32PM
I'm not sure where the wilderness boundaries are in that area but if it is wilderness then powered devices are not allowed.



Old Dude
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 24, 2011 04:19PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas. I will definitely look into getting a lifetime pass for him. I don't think I will be able to afford a heavy scooter so I should work on my arms before the trip :-). We will probably stick to zero to no elevation hikes. I think just the fresh air will do him good. Just sitting on the shuttle and going around the loops might be good enough. I am glad to hear that the accessible sites have paved paths to the restrooms. He is getting excited to go now too, because he has never been. Do you folks have other suggestions for other parks besides Yosemite that is wheelchair accessible friendly?
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 25, 2011 12:01AM
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michaelrosso
Do you folks have other suggestions for other parks besides Yosemite that is wheelchair accessible friendly?

On the other side of the Sierras off of Hwy 395, there's Bodie State Historic Park that preserves the ghost town of Bodie in arrested decay. It's pretty much wheelchair accessible, IIRC, if you don't mind pushing the wheelchair along some well maintained gravel and dirt streets.

Bodie, California Info (from Wikipedia)
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 30, 2011 09:38AM
Thanks for the suggestion. Do anyone else have any suggestions? Has anyone been to Yellowstone or Big Sur? How wheelchair friendly are they? Other National Parks?
avatar Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 30, 2011 12:15PM
As long as you stay along the rim, the great views of the Grand Canyon in Arizona are very wheelchair accessible.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 30, 2011 05:59PM
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 06, 2011 01:21AM
Thanks. I have a friend that would make good use of this. He is wheels-bound, but lvoe the outdoors.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 06, 2011 02:08PM
no problem, thanks I can help with something... the users in this forum have been so helpful to me already.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 09, 2011 08:38AM
Thank-you Katies for the link!
Re: How accessible is the valley?
April 23, 2011 04:46PM
The sidewalks and roads are paved. The accessible sites usually has a paved walk to the restroom so it is very convenient.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 09, 2011 12:16AM
The valley is pretty paved. Other than the hiking trails, you can pretty much go anywhere.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 21, 2011 08:40PM
Suggested trails in other western parks that are wheelchair accessible. I am not in a wheel chair but I have walked these trails. The parks might have other trails and you can look them up on the park’s website.

In Zion NP: the Pa'rus Trail (watch for bikes), the Riverside Walk (stop at the small pool that is along the way and watch the small fish) , and the Lower Emerald Pools Trail ( could need assistance in a few spots)

Yellowstone NP: Each major area in Yellowstone is accessibly through a series of board walks and side walks. However, in some areas the walkways will be steep or have stairs. The park is so big that I can’t describe all of the areas so I suggest that you get “ A guide for visitors who use wheelchairs” either in the park or it can be found online at the park website.

Grand Teton: Eastern shore of Colter Bay, overlook trail at Jackson Lake Dam, Menors Ferry District, Multi-use Pathway from Dornan’s to South Jenny Lake parallel to the Teton Park Road ( this path can get hot because there are few sections that have shade but the view is incredible, I have not walked the whole pathway), South Jenny Lake (leads to lake shore), String Lake ( moderately rough).

Bryce Canyon: section of the Rim Trail between Sunset and Sunrise Points. Bristlecone Loop at Rainbow Point with assistance but some grades are not standard and if my memory serves, sections are not paved.

Arches: The following viewpoints: Park Avenue, Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch. Wolfe Ranch Cabin and rock art panel is also assessable but for some reason, I can’t remember exactly what this path is made of but think it might be gravel in some places. There is a flat, unpaved trail to Double Arch that a wheelchair could be pushed but you would have to check with the park to see if a wheelchair is allowed on it.

Rocky Mountain: Bear Lake (really pretty), Lily Lake and Sprague Lake (views of Continental Divide). I did not do this trail but in the Kawuneeche area is Coyote Valley Trail.

Sequoia/Kings Canyon: The General Sherman Tree and the Big Trees Trail. Depending on individual abilities or if you have help: Crescent Meadow Trail, Tharps Log, Grant Tree Trail and Roaring River Falls. I have not been on it but there is another trail called Beetle Rock Trail. It has been a while since I have been on these trails so I can’t remember a lot of details or highlights.

Capitol Reef: It was over 100 degrees the afternoon we were there so we did not do much walking around. There are trails around the Fruita area that are uneven but fairly level. Also in the Fruita area are boardwalks that run along the cliff where you can see petroglyphs.

Canyonlands: Island in the Sky overlooks - Buck Canyon, Green River Overlook, Grand View Point. Needles - Wooden Shoe Overlook. Other interest points can accessed with help.
Re: How accessible is the valley?
May 21, 2011 09:38PM
Ask for accessibility placard when entering the park, although some employees will say your regular blue placard is enough.
Shuttle buses have wheelchair lifts and wheelchair seating area. Non-disabled people occupying that area should be asked to move for a wheelchair
Tunnel View: paved and flat
Bridalveil Fall: paved, but wet from the mist and slightly steep
Cook's Meadow Loop: flat, part boardwalk
Swinging Bridge Picnic Area: a few disabled parking spots; dirt trails, wheelchair can get to bridge (current bridge is solid, not swinging)
El Capitan Picnic Area: one disabled space and one paved picnic table site
Sentinel Beach has accessible tables and restrooms
Lower Yosemite Fall: Paved on right half, a little uphill but not bad
Large comfortable restroom designed for wheelchairs at picnic area in front of Yosemite Falls
Mirror Lake: with placard you can drive all the way there, but only one parking spot; trails too rough
With placard, you can drive on road to Happy Isles shuttle stop and Mirror Lake, but speed limit is 15 and you must have your flashers on the whole time. There are so many pedestrians you can't go more than 5 mph anyway, and if there are horses or mules you shouldn't move at all until they are gone
Happy Isles: 2 disabled parking spots by shuttle stop 16, paved trail around nature center; trails on Happy Isles are dirt, but reasonably smooth for a wheelchair with large wheels; may have to tilt over small rocks, worth the effort
Mist Trail: paved but too steep, would require Herculean effort
Valley Visitor Center: accessible; movie theater accessible but wheelchair will have to sit in front
Valley View turnout: paved
Fern Spring: right next to road
Washburn Point: paved but go around the left end to avoid the stairs
Glacier Point: alternate route for wheelchairs, longer but less steep, point itself is paved and walled in
Sentinel Dome, Taft Point: no chance
Mariposa Grove: some newer trams now can accept wheelchairs. Inquire at kiosk. Otherwise with the placard you can drive behind a tram
Pioneer Yosemite History Center: dirt paths, some uphill. Park by Pioneer Gift shop.
Tuolumne Grove: paved road 1 mile from parking lot to grove, but uphill on the way back to parking lot with a 7.5% grade for one mile.
Olmstead Point: paved
Tenaya Lake: paved sidewalk along a small part of north shore, east end of lake has accessible toilets, beach is not reachable by wheelchair
Tuolumne Meadows: visitor center and restrooms fully accessible. No paved trails that I know of

In Kings Canyon National Park, the Grant Grove is very beautiful, with paved trails winding through it - but it is very crowded with tourists and yellilng kids, so go there early in the morning or late in the day. The world's third largest tree by volume, the General Grant Tree, is there and beautifully integrated with the grove rather than off by itself like the General Sherman Tree is. Also in Kings Canyon, Grizzly Falls is right next to the road and Roaring River Falls is just a 5-minute stroll on a paved trail from the parking lot.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2011 09:47PM by Bob Weaver.
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