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    I used to come here regularly, but after 32 years with The MonSter, I felt I had a good grasp of what my life was like. But now my husband wants to go to the Grand Canyon, and I am wondering how accessible it is. I would like to use my Walker in places that require me to be on my feet awhile. I own a wheelchair, but that does not seem life a good idea.

    Does anyone have experience in this situation? Any advice or recommendations?

    I had a broken ankle and was using my forearm crutches when I went a few years ago. My memory, as much as it exists, tells me that most of the buildings and walkways are fairly accessible, for a park. I think there were people there with various mobility limitations/aids, and they seemed to be doing alright.

    I stayed onsite at the South Rim, and I think some of the cabins are wheelchair accessible, but some of the buildings there are older and exempt from ADA regulations. The first link for a google search for "Grand Canyon accessibility" gives a good overview.

    The mode of transport may be limited by the equipment you bring. We took the train (traveled from the Bay Area, California), and I think the local train had some limitations. If you were to drive, then this wouldn't be such a worry, unless you plan to take some motorized tour onsite.

    One of the most important accessibility considerations is the time of year/weather. When I went in the winter, there was snow and ice, and I had to be careful. It was nice that the place wasn't quite as crowded as I imagine summertime is, but the winter weather most definitely made it more dangerous to get around with mobility limitations.

    Don't be scared. Just like with all the little trips you have to take, this one just takes some planning. It's totally doable, and if you have the opportunity, it's really worth it. I'm not really into travel—I usually would rather not worry about all it entails—but it was really impressive to see and feel the magnitude of the canyon in person. I wasn't expecting to be so wowed. I just wish I hadn't gotten food poisoning!

    So check out the accessibility resources, call way ahead to check on accessible room availability, and have a great time. We'll expect a report when you come back!



      BW, thank you for your lengthy response. I don't know why I didn't think to google. I use the computer for everything. We just got back back film a dream trip to Alaska, which I strongly recommend. Thought I should start planning the next one. Thanks again.


        I have been to the Grand Canyon numerous times. I believe both the North and South Rim Visitor Centers, both have good views of the Canyon will accommodate the walker. One of the Centers now has a glass "runway" that goes over the Canyon. That would be the best view if you are not afraid of heights.

        As you drive around the Canyon there are pull offs that you can get great views of the Canyon. I don't think these will accommodate the walker.

        You can also take a horse ride around part of the Canyon and you can also take a helicopter ride.

        What I would not do is go up to any part of the Canyon that does not have guard rails.

        The one thing you will not be able to do is walk down the Canyon...having done that myself when I was younger, I do not see anyway how they could accommodate that.

        If you are traveling by car a trip to see the Petrified Forest is worth the journey as well.

        Enjoy your trip...well worth is pretty incredible, especially the first time.
        "Yep, I have MS, and it does have Me!"
        "My MS is a Journey for One."
        Dx: 1999 DMDS: Avonex, Copaxone, Rebif, currently on Tysabri


          It is possible to do a mule ride down to the bottom of the canyon if you cannot hike, though you'd have to be able to ride the mule.

          Along the South Rim, there are several miles of paved sidewalk, though they are not all contiguous. At least some of the hotels and the hotel rooms are accessible via WC, but as noted, some of the older buildings can't be modified to make all the areas easy to get to.

          There are a lot of free, informative lectures by the park rangers where you can just sit and listen. The rangers also give some free walking tours that are doable for some. Check the park guide for details as it is available online.

          I love the Grand Canyon and visit it every month or two since it's only a couple hours from where I work. Even with the limitations of a walker or a wheelchair, a visit would be well worth it. The Grand Canyon is spectacular.

          Don't forget that if you are disabled, you are entitled to a permanent free pass for admission to all the US National Parks in all 50 states.