Arizona has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
Most of the links given were found through Internet search. Some places I have been able to visit and a few have been recommended to me by other people who have been there. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form to the right.
Loren Worthington produces an outstanding website for Arizona: www.accessingarizona.com
Grand Canyon National Park
A World Heritage Site, the Grand Canyon lies on the Colorado Plateau in northwestern Arizona. In this semi-arid land of raised plateaus and structural basins, the Colorado River has cut an extensive canyon, averaging 4,000′ deep for 277. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 18 miles at its widest.
Be aware that this is high country. The rim is nearly 7000′ above sea level. We visited the Grand Canyon in January. It was bitter cold (-6 F˚) but not very crowded. I was impressed how quickly the wheelchair accessible path was plowed.
Trail of Time 1.3-mile trail between Verkamp’s Visitor Center and Yavapai Geology Museum
Rim Trail 13 miles, mostly paved
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument preserves two volcanoes, one which erupted about 1085 and a smaller, older one. At the time of the last eruption the surrounding land was turned into a wasteland of cinders and basaltic lava. Over the years, vegetation has slowly re-established. The volcanic field and the surrounding pine forest are now habitat for a wide array of animal life,
Lava Flow Trail 1 mile with a .25 mile accessible loop.
Bonito Vista Trail (Facebook) 0.3 miles round trip from the Lava Flow Trail parking lot.
Phone 928-526-0502 Accessibility Hikes & Trails “Ancient Times”, the newspaper for Flagstaff Area National Monuments.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
The park is a good place for hiking, horseback riding, camping and birdwatching. It is by the Verde River near the town of Cottonwood.
Canopy Trail 0.25 mile loops “under a Freemont Cottonwood tree canopy. Bird watching & wildlife viewing.”
? There are easy trails around each of the lagoons.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
The Kartchner Caverns are massive rooms dissolved from limestone and containing remarkable mineral formations. Throne Room contains one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites and a 58-foot high column. The Big Room contains the world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk.
The cave tours at Kartchner Caverns State Park are wheelchair accessible, but there are a lot of restrictions as well as a requirement to book a tour, so be sure to call in advance. The number is 1-520-586-2283. Crutches and walkers are not allowed, so again, call to be sure a loaner wheelchair is available for you. Tours are $23 per adult. From their website: “Most above ground and below ground areas on the park are handicapped accessible excepting most parts of the hiking trails.” Here are some Google reviews for the park and its tours.
Arizona – Sonoran Desert Museum
“The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium.” There are two miles of walking paths through desert habitats planted with 1,200 types of plants. 230 animal species live in this primarily outdoor museum. There is also a large mineral collection.
Their website says that, “96% of our exhibits are viewable by wheelchair. The Museum maintains a small fleet of manual wheelchairs, and child strollers available free of charge. A limited number of electric convenience vehicles (ECVs) are available for rent at our front ticket window on a first-come, first serve basis.” Here is a map of the trails and gardens.
The city of Phoenix has some wheelchair accessible trails listed at their website.
Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden looks from their website to be wheelchair accessible.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Arizona.
8 Wheelchair-accessible Arizona Attractions. Thank you, JP Bruce, for bringing this article to my attention.
Accessing Arizona, by Loren Worthington, is an eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona.
Wheelchairtraveling.com is an outstanding resource.