Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International


Accessible Yosemite

Francine Falk-Allen

Yosemite National Park in central eastern California has impressive accessibility for those of us needing to use a wheelchair or sit scooter. I love the spectacular granite mountains, the woods and the meadows, but due to polio effects, cannot hike or ride a bike. Renting a scooter at Yosemite Lodge (or bringing a collapsible one) has allowed me to get closer to nature than I could in a car. I’m also now able to join my husband and friends on little jaunts around Yosemite Valley while they walk or ride their bikes.

This picture shows me cruising around the Valley floor in the summer of 2015, with Yosemite Falls’ cliffs in the background.

Car use is discouraged in the Valley, but if you have a disabled person placard or plates, you can drive to many places others can only reach by bicycle, shuttle or walking. Shuttle buses access most points of interest in Yosemite Valley; however, there is often still a longish walk from the shuttle stops to the venues. I understand that the shuttles accommodate some power chairs and small scooters but I have not as yet tried to get a scooter on their buses.

Please also see my article, “The Wild Handicapper in Yosemite,” published in the Feb/Mar 2016 issue of ABILITY Magazine. It’s an adaptation from my book/memoir (not yet published), Not a Poster Child. It includes wonders and activities available for you there, a sidebar on reservations, and a story about my encounter with more nature than I’d bargained for!

I hope you will consider a trip to Yosemite or other national parks, and that you will enjoy the article. If you do, please let ABILITY know.



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