Zion National Park in Utah has a lot more to offer than your average desert landscape. When you visit Zion, you will have the opportunity to traverse vast trails, drive amongst scenic beauty, and view history through the eyes of nature. Learn more about how you can take your wheelchair-accessible van to hit some of nature's greatest spots.
Zion Canyon’s Top Wheelchair-Accessible Activities
For the Zion Canyon area, your journey will begin at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Unless medical needs require you to have access to your vehicle through the park, no vehicles are allowed past this point for this area of the park, though there are plenty of other scenic drives in Zion as a whole that you can enjoy from your vehicle.
You can find more details about using a personal vehicle here in the “Zion Canyon Transportation” section. You can access handicapped parking from here and use the wheelchair-accessible shuttle to travel between the park's various stops. Additionally, accessible restrooms and water stations are provided here. Check out the shuttle schedule to plan your day.
Zion Nature Center
The Zion Nature Center is a great place to learn more about the park. For the children in your group, the nature center provides a variety of books, games, and exhibits for them to enjoy. They even host summer youth programs for children and families. They also offer a self-guided junior ranger activity booklet, which your child can complete to receive a Junior Ranger badge.
Pa’rus Trail is a 1.5-mile paved trail from Canyon Junction to the visitor center. Much of the trail is unshaded, so be prepared to take breaks and bring plenty of water and sunscreen, or take the trail during a cooler part of the day. The name of the trail translates into “rushing waters” as the trail winds along the Virgin River. Since the trail is so open, it creates a great spot for stargazing.
Riverside Walk, is a 1-mile long trail that’s paved. However, it is only accessible for the first 4/10ths of the trail. After this point, sections of the trail exceed a 20% slope. The shuttle stop at the beginning of the trail has accessible bathrooms and water fountains. Keep in mind that even though the trail is paved, there may be sand covering the path.
The Big Bend Trail includes sights like Angel’s Landing and the Great White Throne. From here you may be able to see some of the native wildlife, like California Condors, bears, deer, and more.
The Zion Lodge hosts the only dining option that's within the bounds of the Zion National Park. Here you can enjoy the accessible restaurant and cafe. They also have accessible restrooms and water stations. If you’d like to stay a few days at the lodge, you’ll have access to wheelchair-accessible rooms and cabins for you to enjoy throughout your stay.
You even have the option to view the trails via horseback, just be aware that upper leg muscle control and balance will be required for this activity as there are no accessible adaptations available for the saddle.
Zion Human History Museum
Humans have been recorded living in the Zion area more than 10,000 years ago. This means there is an extensive history to tell about the rich roots of the park. Much of the history is associated with the Paiute People, an indigenous group with a sprawling history in the area. At the museum, you can learn about the story of these peoples, when the pioneer settlement occurred, and how the land has grown over the years as a national park. There are even free film screenings of a documentary about the park's history, or you can attend a ranger talk to learn more about the land.
At the Watchmen Campground, you will find several accessible or flat campsites, all with access to wheelchair-accessible restrooms. You can even take a paved path that leads to the visitor center and shuttle bus depot, giving you another opportunity to explore at your own pace.
|Book Your Rental||Sign Up for Updates Like These|
Wheelchair-Accessible Activities in the Outer Regions of Zion National Park
Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway
Just outside of Zion Canyon is the 12-mile Zion Mt. Carmel Highway which connects the south and east entrances to Zion National Park. Along the highway, you can travel through the historic tunnel, created in 1930, which passes through the base of the Navajo Sandstone. Traveling through the steep roads up to the east entrance of the park, you'll find wheelchair-accessible viewpoints where you can spot smooth mountainsides or even herds of Bighorn Sheep.
On the northwest corner of Zion National Park, you'll find Kolob Canyons, which has its own visitor center and gift store. You can take yet another scenic drive from here, which spans 5 miles. Be sure to stop at the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint at the end of the drive for some spectacular photo opportunities.
This is yet another steep scenic drive that winds 20 miles north through Zion. At the end of the road is Lava Point, a viewpoint that is nearly 8,000 ft. in elevation. Bear in mind that this lookout point is flat but covered in gravel, and some assistance may be needed for wheelchair users.
If you ask a local, they’ll tell you to be sure to visit the nearby town of Springdale. Zion National Park even runs a shuttle through town for you and your loved ones to enjoy throughout the day. The shuttle line starts at the same depot as the Zion Canyon shuttle, meaning you are free to utilize the park's accessible parking while visiting. If you prefer not to rely on shuttle schedules, visiting Springdale would be a great opportunity to rent a wheelchair-accessible van so that you can see all the town has to offer on your own time. The town has plenty of accessible lodging and accommodations, along with opportunities for shopping and dining.
Zion National Park is just one of many gorgeous places to visit across the U.S., and Wheelchair Getaways makes travel to these destinations easy by providing accessible vehicle rentals for you or your loved one. Make the most of your next nature trek by stopping by one of our 200+ nationwide locations. See how we can make your next trip happen and check our website to find more resources on how to make travel more enjoyable.
|Book Your Rental||Sign Up for Updates Like These|