• The national parks exist for the enjoyment of all, offering opportunities for those in wheelchairs or with hearing, visual or other physical or mental disabilities to experience the wilderness. It may also be possible to obtain a free lifetime America the Beautiful access pass.
  • Check individual park websites or ask at park visitor centers for up-to-date accessibility guides, details of which are often printed in the parks’ free newspaper guides.
  • All of southern Utah’s national parks have wheelchair-accessible visitor centers, at least one accessible campsite in their main campground, and a few viewpoints and/or trails that are wheelchair-accessible. Some parks also offer ranger programs for the hearing impaired.
  • Service animals (ie guide dogs) may accompany visitors on park shuttles, inside museums and visitor centers, and on hiking trails and in the backcountry (check current regulations to see if permits are required at visitor centers). Ensure your service animal wears its official vest at all times, to avoid any misunderstandings with park rangers or other visitors.
  • In Zion and Bryce Canyon, park shuttles are wheelchair-accessible and lodges offer wheelchair-accessible rooms compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Accommodations outside the parks are required to have at least one wheelchair-accessible room, though few are fully ADA-compliant. More often, these are ground-floor rooms with wider doorways, less furniture, and handles around the tub and toilet. Always ask exactly what ‘accessible’ means when making reservations.
  • Some car-rental agencies offer hand-controlled vehicles and vans with wheelchair lifts at no extra charge, but you must reserve them well in advance.
  • Access Utah Network is a state agency that provides accessibility information for all Utah parks and referrals to other helpful organizations. The nonprofit, Salt Lake City–based Splore specializes in providing outdoor activities (eg river rafting, canoeing, rock climbing) for those with special needs.

Accessible Travel Online Resources

  • The National Park Service (www.nps.gov/accessibility.htm) publishes National Parks: Accessible to Everyone, a free online, downloadable and printable large-type guide with helpful info and details about facilities at specific parks.
  • All Trails (www.alltrails.com) This popular website and mobile app has trail write-ups and maps for all the major hikes in Bryce and Zion.
  • Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.