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Visiting Grand Canyon South Rim in a wheelchair

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The Grand Canyon was excellent for me in my chair. I haven't been back since I was a kid, when my circumstances were far different. As you'd expect, the Park Service does a great job making it accessible.

The camping ground (Trailer Village) is clean and convenient. We picked a great place for our first night in an RV. They keep the spaces neat with pea gravel, that was a little too deep in one spot where I got stuck, but a young Frenchman walking by lifted me out of that bind. That's a national parks kind of thing to happen, I guess.

Of course all the facilities and exhibits are accessible, but for me the big improvement is the emphasis on trams. Trams might have been around during my last visit too but that time my father drove us around the canyon himself. The trams are popular and well-run, shuttling thousands daily to the major outlooks along the rims of the canyon. The drivers are friendly and helpful answering questions and offering tips. At tram stops, wheelchair users and their families are directed to the head of the line so that they can be they can be secured in the tram before the peds file in. Wheelchairs must be 48 inches or less in length. The last thing we did was ride one of the four South Rim routes (red) and enjoy the sights sitting in AC. The round-trip took over an hour and we saw a lot of beautiful views from our seats. Disabled visitors can also get a pass to drive their own vehicles along the red route.

The signs throughout the park clearly labeled the accessible sites.



Highlight was going the 0.6 mile paved trail from Mather Point to the Yavapai Point and Geology Museum. The trail's pretty wide and in decent enough shape. The edges are unfinished and often broken up, but folks gave us a pretty wide clearance. Excellent views.



Remember to get your America the Beautiful Access Pass for $10, gets you entrance to any and all national parks forever. (Here's the lifetime senior pass for $90.)


The scenery? It was definitely OK.



Accessible Grand Canyon - National Park Service

Frommers' Detailed Tips for Travelers with Disabilities

Trip Advisor - Detailed Wheelchair Accessibility on the South Rim, written by the girlfriend of a wc user

USA Today - How to Plan a Grand Canyon Vacation for the Handicapped, with good tips

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