The Grand Canyon in Arizona is regarded as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, and rightfully so. Over centuries the mighty Colorado River has stretched this grand dessert landscape across 18 miles rim to rim. The Colorado River is still at work 2,200 feet below the rim cutting into some of the oldest rock on the planet, about 2 billion years-old. This incredible piece of art and history exist today because of John Muir, a man who dedicated his life to preserving the greatest natural landscapes in the US. It was hiking in Yosemite with President Theodore Roosevelt that the two were able to discuss their passion for the conservation of America’s natural assets, and afterwards Roosevelt took action. All and all President Roosevelt wrote in law the preservation of 5 National Parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, 150 national forests, 51 bird refuges, 4 national game preserves, 18 national monuments, 24 reclamation projects, and the National Forest Service.
The South Rim at the Grand Canyon is the most famous and the busiest of all the rims because there a couple of lodges located near each other. Since this area was created for tourists, it is the most developed for modern conveniences, which is applies to ADA laws. The Visitor Center at Grand Canyon Village has handicapped parking, a place to eat, restrooms, and various trail maps of the Grand Canyon. Not too far past this area are the lodges where you can also eat and of course spend the night (Hotel info by Accessing Arizona).
At the Visitor Center on the South Rim there is a great wheelchair friendly path to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon The trail is called Pipe Creek Vista and is about 1.5 miles long. Normally, there is no snow since it is the desert but this was a rare and special occasion. Keep in mind that it is not a loop and there is no restrooms or drinking fountains along the way. There are also a number of lookout points all around the South Rim, so explore. During warmer weather you can even ride a boat through the Grand Canyon and it’s wheelchair accessible (see info & photos by Accessing Arizona).
The fee to get into the park is $25 but for those who are permanently disabled and are a citizens of the United States it is free with Golden Access Pass. You can only get the Golden Access Pass at the ranger station in a National Park, and since Arizona is one you can quickly get it at the gate. You just need to show your driver’s license and sign a document saying you are permanently disabled, and that’s it. You are given the Golden Access Pass Card right away. This pass is absolutely free and gets you into every national park at no cost, so it’s a no brain-er.