How to Find Accessible Adventures in Southern Utah
Outdoor adventure is everywhere and southern Utah is making it accessible for all to experience
Throughout southern Utah, adventure is accessible to people of all abilities. We asked Dan Glasser, CEO of the National Ability Center, based in Park City, for suggestions to plan a truly inclusive trip for the whole family.
Hike On An Accessible Trail
Many of southern Utah’s state parks have level and fully or partially paved trails that can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and adaptive cycles. Snow Canyon State Park, a less crowded destination in the Zion National Park area, has a long paved biking loop with views of the park’s dunes. Its three-mile paved Whiptail Trail provides wild vistas of ancient lava flows.
Try Hand-Cycling On Klonzo and Klondike Bluff Trails
Just outside Arches National Park, the Klonzo trail system offers incredible views from hand-cycle-friendly trails, says Glasser. And just a little farther north, the Klondike Bluffs trail system has ample accessible cycling trails too. Both include singletrack with red-rock desert vistas. If you don’t have your own hand cycle, you can either join one of the NAC’s organized tours or rent its equipment once you’ve been fitted.
Camp in A Lesser-Known State Park
The Mighty Five national parks don’t have a monopoly on southern Utah’s best camping and landscapes. Glasser recommends Dead Horse Point State Park, which has a few ADA-compliant campsites and paved hiking trails with stunning views of the Colorado River winding through red-rock canyons. Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley State Park both also offer yurt rentals.
Take a Jeep Tour
You don’t have to venture far into the wilderness to see some of southern Utah’s most beautiful sights. There are plenty of scenic drives you can do in a passenger car, but to get a little further out there, Glasser suggests signing up for a Jeep tour. He recommends checking out Moab Adventure Center, which runs “Hummer safaris” deep into the red-rock valleys.
Go Rafting Near Fisher Towers
The National Ability Center has long offered whitewater-rafting trips, and one of its classics is the stretch through Fisher Towers. NAC rafts have adaptive equipment to accommodate certain physical disabilities, and staff members are expertly trained to make the experience safe, comfortable, and exciting for everyone on board. On the Fisher Towers trip, you’ll ride through Class II and III rapids with views of the iconic desert spires—Titan Tower, at about 700 feet tall, is one of the largest freestanding natural towers in the United States.
Looking for more adventure intel? Head over to Beyond the Parks, our interactive and in-depth guide to getting off the beaten path in southern Utah.
The wild canyons and mountains of southern Utah have been around for over 2.6 billion years, and we want to protect them for a few billion more. Do your part by following our Forever Mighty travel ethic.