Handicap camping spots and Access Pass

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by RoseTheJinx, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. RoseTheJinx

    RoseTheJinx New Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    I wasn't aware of this till last year when we camped next to one of these spots. Our state (MI) has handicap accessible spots in some (maybe all, IDK) State campgrounds. You cannot reserve them online, but I noticed last year that even on the busy weekends, they seemed to be open often, even when the rest of the campground is booked for months. When I talked to the ranger, I was told that the only proof you need is a handicap plate. You can get one for your child with autism if they are a runner. Although I have mine for my husband with Cerebral Palsy and our Doctor said he would give me a letter if I was ever questioned about using it for my runner. So that might open up some camping spots for people. I had not even thought of it. It is pretty much a cement slab, but that flat slab would be easier for my husband to walk on than uneven ground.

    Also there is an Access Pass for those with a permanent disability. It will get you into national parks for free and some other things (like camping) for half price as long as you have the child or adult who the Access Pass is for.

  2. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Thanks for putting this information out there for people.

    I noticed that they have added 2 or 3 of these spots to our favorite state park here in Florida. They are paved and near the ramp to the bath house for easy access.

    When we got home, I looked up online and they are still easily reserved by anyone. I hope that changes so that people who need them can get them. Since it's new, I assume they are still working out the kinks. There were physically disabled people camping in both when we were there, which I thought was fantastic. There may have been a third empty one, unless my memory is wrong.

    We have always had the 1/2 price for people on disability, but so nice they are making it physically easier for those who need it to enjoy camping.
  3. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    Well if lts like walmart it will do no good after awhile. I just got one but it does no good as all the spots are full!!!
  4. degrandes

    degrandes New Member

    May 17, 2013
    Wow! We take our son with cerebral palsy camping all the time but as he's getting bigger his wheelchair isn't so easy to move in the woods! I'm excited to see if this pass will help us! Thanks so much!
  5. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Feb 20, 2013
    This has been discussed on here several times before. Some states designate them as handicapped accessible and no proof is needed. The flip side is that many weekends those would go unreserved. I think a good median would be o open them up a month or 2 out but let them be reserved with proof before that.
  6. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    Some laws passed years ago require handicap access to services. Including camping. So I believe that all state parks have some handicap spots.

    As for the access pass, I have one (disabled veteran) and it is good for more than just reduced camping rates. It can also be used to waive the entrance fees to national parks and often reduced fees to attractions in the parks.

    We were in Rocky Mountain National Park a couple years ago and the entire car load of people get in the park under the pass.

    Then two years ago we were in Mammoth Caves and the pass got me a reduced price on the cave tour.

    The pass is good for camping as well. Last fall we were in Temple Texas and stayed at a Corps of Engineer campground and with the access pass paid $11 per night v. the normal rate of $22.

    If you reserve sites via the recreation.gov website they even have a spot where you can input information so that it shows up there on your reservation.
  7. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    seems to me if they aren't booked by a certain time then they are fair game!! I am disabled but when c/g fill up its not fair to me to leave them empty!
  8. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    New Plymouth, ID
    The state parks I've been to here in Idaho ask that you don't take an handicapped accessible site, unless:
    A. You have limited mobility (no proof required, they'll take you at your word)
    B. All the other sites are taken.

    There may be different rules at ones I haven't been to. I've reserved a couple of accessible ones as my wife has to use a walker to get around, i haven't gotten a handicap placard yet, but have had no issues reserving one.
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    There also seems to be some difference between "accessible" sites and handicapped ones. Usually the HC sites I see have more paving, raised tent platforms, or some other features. sometimes a HC placard seems to be required.
    One of our favorite campgrounds in Colorado was updated a few years back. Now, almost all of the reservable sites are designated "accessible". The few that aren't have steps, are on levels up the hill, etc. A big notice appears when trying to reserve that warns "you are about to reserve an accessible site", etc. etc. Since they're mostly all accessible now, we just reserve the one we want, there isn't an alternative.

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