Until you had your accident or surgery, you had a big trip planned to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite. But now that you can't put weight on your leg until it heals, you think you can't participate in the vacation. Sure, you can still accompany everyone on the drive to the national park, but you'll have to sit at the campsite or the top of the trail until everyone finishes their hikes. You don't want to deal with the torture of getting just close enough to an adventure to taste it—and not having the opportunity to partake. And with a knee walker, you don't have to. These devices come in all-terrain options that you can take when you on your escapades. They may not allow you to scale steep mountains or navigate narrow walkways, but they will allow you to go on gentle hikes with shallow or nonexistent slopes. So, you don't have to put your adventure on hold—just redirect it to one of the national parks listed below. These parks have plenty for you to see and do as you use your knee walker.
- Arches National Park Location: Utah Easiest Trails: Landscape Arch, Broken Arch, Delicate Arch, Double Arch, and Skyline Arch Some trails throughout the area feature steps and climbs that your knee walker can't handle. However, for the most part, many of the trails to this park's distinct arches don't require much more than an easy walk on your part. The Landscape Arch trail takes you to the longest arch on the planet. You'll also see Tunnel and Pine Tree Arch on the way. The trail to Landscape Arch spans only two miles round trip, but you can double that distance and visit Devil's Garden, if you feel up to it. Or, if you would like to take things easy, you can also visit these areas:
- Broken Arch: Walk a mere one mile there and back, and you'll see meadows and find canyons on the way.
- Delicate Arch Viewpoint: You'll travel 100 yards total.
- Double Arch: A half mile round trip takes you to this fascinating geological structure.
- Skyline Arch: A 4/10-mile hike will take you to this photo opportunity, and the trail stays flat and well-maintained along the way.
Arches also features many more strenuous hikes should you decide to return to the park after you have healed.
- Olympic National Park Location: Washington Easiest Trails:Hoh River Trail and the Lake Quinault Hike to the World's Largest Spruce Tree This Hoh River trail, a jewel within one of North America's finest temperate rainforests, stays mostly level throughout the walk. You'll see the vibrant, mossy greenery in this lush forest, as well as towering trees that don't grow as extensively or as large anywhere else in the world. Plus, since so many large trees exist in the same spot, you'll get a fresher breath of oxygen than you normally experience. Keep in mind that this trail stretches a little over six miles all around. Or, if you want to take your Olympic National Park experience to the next level, you can also visit the world's largest spruce tree on a short walk that spans no more than one third of a mile. This tree has lived for over 1,000 years.
- Glacier National Park Location: Montana Easiest Trails: Hidden Meadow, Grinnell Lake, and Running Eagle Falls Perhaps you need impressive rock formations and lush forests in your ideal national park vacation. You'll get exactly that when you visit Glacier National Park. It features a number of easy hikes, the easiest of which is Running Eagle Falls. This trail takes you on a one-mile loop with no more than 15 feet of elevation change. You could even take a wheelchair on the path to these falls. At Hidden Meadow, you will only walk two miles round trip with minimal elevation change. It doesn't give you the same kind of scenic awe factor that other hikes do, so keep that in mind. If you'd like a slightly longer hike, take Grinnell Lake for 3 miles. The trail takes you to a turquoise lake surrounded by soaring cliffs.
Don't let your injury conquer you. Instead, conquer your injury by enjoying yourself at these popular national parks.