The backcountry and recommended wilderness of Yellowstone National Park is for all to enjoy, including people with differing abilities. While wheeled devices are prohibited on park trails and in the backcountry, allowances are made for some devices and wheelchairs when used by people with mobility impairments.
Wheelchairs (manually-operated or power-driven) are permitted on boardwalks and all park trails (including within recommended wilderness) as long as they are “devices designed solely for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area.” Other powered mobility devices (e.g. ATVs or golf carts) may not be used on boardwalks or backcountry trails. Electric personal assistance mobility devices, including Segways, are permitted in some front country areas, but are not permitted on backcountry trails, nature trails, or on boardwalks.
Manual wheelchair: A device that is propelled by human power, designed for and used by a mobility-impaired person.
Motorized wheelchair: A self-propelled wheeled device, designed solely for and used by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, that is both capable of and suitable for use in indoor pedestrian areas.
Individually trained service animals that perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are permitted on the trails and in the backcountry of Yellowstone.
Accessible Campsites & Trails
The following campsites and trails, while not modified for wheelchair access, are some of the more reasonable options for an individual with a mobility impairment to experience Yellowstone’s backcountry and wilderness.
Campsite OD5 is 1.5 miles from the Fountain Freight Road Trailhead which is located between Old Faithful and Madison. The trail is a hard-packed, dirt bike path. The campsite is 1/4 mile from the bike path via a wide, dirt trail. The campsite has an accessible pit toilet.
Ice Lake backcountry campsite 4D3 is reserved for those with disabilities, parents with children under 6 years of age, and adults over 62 years of age. The trailhead is between Norris and Canyon. The wheelchair-accessible trail is about one-half mile long, hard-packed dirt, and fairly level. Wheelchair users may require assistance. The campsite has a tent pad and accessible pit toilet.
The Lone Star Geyser Trail near Old Faithful and the Natural Bridge Trail near Bridge Bay are a couple of the shorter backcountry trails/bike paths which are accessible by wheelchair. These trails are mostly level and well-graded.