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People visit these parks to witness their beauty, and that can be done in a host of different ways -- you don't have to hike 5 miles or climb to the top of a waterfall. Some of the most rewarding moments come from quiet, still observation.

Be sure to inquire about the National Park Service's free Interagency Access Pass, available to the blind and those with permanent disabilities.

In Yosemite, there are some fairly level paved trails around the valley floor, including the ones to Mirror Lake and Happy Isles, and the paved bike trail is also accessible to wheelchairs. Ask for information on accessible points when making reservations. An accessibility brochure is available at park entrances and visitor centers, and wheelchairs can be rented at the Yosemite Medical Clinic (tel. 209/372-4637) and the Yosemite Lodge Bike Rental Stand (tel. 209/372-1208).

In Sequoia & Kings Canyon, the visitor centers in the Foothills, Lodgepole, and Grant Grove are wheelchair accessible. Paved trails lead to the General Sherman Tree and General Grant Tree. In Giant Forest, there are a few paved trails (including Big Trees Trail). There are modified picnic tables at Hospital Rock and Big Stump. Special requests should be directed to tel. 559/565-3134.

Wheelchair Getaways (tel. 800/642-2042 or 859/873-4973; www.wheelchair-getaways.com) rents specialized vans with wheelchair lifts and other features for those with disabilities, with outlets in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

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.