Mobility Devices

Hiker using a Mountain Trike off-road wheelchair on a trail in Zion National Park
Visitor enjoying the Emerald Pools hike using his Mountain Trike in Zion National Park

Courtesy Dave Gillespie

Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids

Many kinds of devices improve mobility for the
1 in 4 Americans with a Disability. From walkers, canes, crutches, or braces to traditional manual or power wheelchairs to off-road mobility wheelchairs or electric scooters.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a wheelchair (Title V Section 508c) is: a manually-operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor or of both indoor and outdoor locomotion.

Mobility device technology has come a long way in recent years, spanning a variety of shapes, sizes, and capability in varied terrain. Those devices that meet the definition of a wheelchair are allowed anywhere foot travel is allowed in our National Parks, this includes the opportunity to participate in Wilderness experiences.
Two ATV's on an empty beach, grass in the foreground.
Two ATV's on a beach

NPS Gallery

Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices (OPDMD's):

If the device is...

#1- not designed solely for use for by a mobility impaired person


“#2- not suitable in an indoor pedestrian area; e.g. gas-powered would not be suitable.

Any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines, that is not primarily designed for individuals with mobility disabilities, that are used by such individuals for the purpose of locomotion are classified as an Other Powered-Driven Mobility Device (OPDMD).

OPDMDs examples include golf cars/carts, electronic personal assistance mobility devices, such as the Segway ® Personal Transporter (PT), or any mobility device that does NOT meet the definition of a wheelchair and is designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes.

Last updated: December 16, 2022