Most disabilities shouldn't stop anyone from traveling. There are more options and resources out there than ever before. But that said, the area is not necessarily ahead of the curve when it comes to accessible facilities: There are only a handful of accessible trails in the main attraction -- the national parks.
The America the Beautiful -- National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass -- Access Pass (formerly the Golden Access Passport) gives visually impaired people and people with permanent disabilities (regardless of age) free lifetime entrance to federal recreation sites administered by the National Park Service, including the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. This may include national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges.
The America the Beautiful Access Pass can be obtained only in person at any NPS facility that charges an entrance fee. You need to show proof of medically determined disability. Besides free entry, the pass also offers a 50% discount on some federal-use fees charged for such facilities as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm.
The Montana Independent Living Project, 1820 11th Ave., Helena, MT 59601 (tel. 800/735-6457 or 406/442-5755; www.milp.us), operates an information and referral service for travelers with disabilities, providing information relating to such topics as accessibility, recreation, and transportation.
Organizations that offer a vast range of resources and assistance to travelers with disabilities include MossRehab (tel. 800/225-5667; www.mossresourcenet.org); the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB; tel. 800/232-5463; www.afb.org); and SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality; tel. 212/447-7284; www.sath.org). AirAmbulanceCard.com is now partnered with SATH and allows you to preselect top-notch hospitals in case of an emergency.
Access-Able Travel Source (tel. 303/232-2979; www.access-able.com) offers a comprehensive database on travel agents from around the world with experience in accessible travel; destination-specific access information; and links to such resources as service animals, equipment rentals, and access guides.
Amtrak will, with advance notice, provide porter service, special seating, and a discount (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) for travelers with disabilities. If you're traveling with a companion, Greyhound will give your companion a 50% fare discount (tel. 800/231-2222 or 800/752-4841 for the Disabilities Travel Assistance Line; www.greyhound.com).
Many of the major car-rental companies now offer hand-controlled cars for drivers with disabilities, and can provide those vehicles with advance notice. Wheelchair Getaways (tel. 800/642-2042; www.wheelchair-getaways.com) rents specialized vans with wheelchair lifts and other features for drivers and/or passengers with disabilities, with outlets in both states.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.