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How Accessible Is Accessible: Double Arch

Disabled Photographer & Founder Of The Disabled Photographer Project Denise Vasquez

Photographed by Randy Martinez

As a disabled photographer, traveling for me requires a lot of research, planning, organization and communication, especially when visiting places I've never ventured to!

Having some knowledge about my destination helps me make informed decisions.

Over the years I’ve learned the hard way that many hotels, parks, trails…are not as accessible as promoted, which is why I started my ongoing project: The Disabled Photographer Project and How Accessible Is Accessible series in the first place; so I could share my experiences, share information, and help my community along my journey; hopefully to a more inclusive & accessible world!

Once I arrive to my destination, one of the many things that I do is communicate with people, because trails can change at any time, due to environmental erosion, and the weather can change in an instant, so be sure to check the weather, and stay on top of it.

Sometimes the rangers at the entrance gate can lead the way, but I've always found it best to communicate with the staff at the visitor center, and with people exiting the trails, as I enter. It’s a good way to not only stay informed, but to make new friends too!

While venturing along the Broken Arch Trail (I’ll cover that trail in another blog), I met a female hiker who was taking selfies under the arch & our conversation began when I asked her how difficult it was to get to the spot where she was taking photos. When I told her about how I was in a wheelchair for 3 years, and gave her a quick backstory about my disability, she asked me if I had hiked Double Arch trail yet? When I told her that trail was not recommended to me at the visitor center, and there was no indication that the trail was accessible in the brochure, she highly recommended that I check out the trail, and so I did! Thanks to our conversation, I did this trail and I am forever grateful because I would've missed seeing these magnificent arches.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024

Double Arch trail may not be rated as being ADA accessible, but I found it to be doable.

One of the things that I loved at the beginning of the trail was the interpretive sign giving detailed information about the trail.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024

The trail is .5 miles, mostly flat, with elevation change of 30 ft, and is quoted in the brochure as being "Easy" and doable in 15-30 minutes. Whenever I'm outdoors connecting with nature, I have a tendency of losing track of time while taking in my surroundings and photographing whatever captures my heART, so I honestly can't tell you how long it took me to do this trail.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024

Some of the trail is hard-packed, but I wouldn’t rate this trail as being “Easy” because some of the trail has gravelly, rocky, sandy, and uneven terrain. I also noticed that the sand gets a little deeper around the areas closer to the arches. All of these issues, especially sand, can be challenging for people with limited mobility, achilles tendon injuries & for disabled people, elderly people, or anyone using wheelchairs, rolling walkers, and even walking sticks. I got pretty close to the Double Arch, I just wish they had benches to sit on for me to rest & enjoy the view.

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2024

In the end, I’m glad I was able to experience it up close and photograph it during golden hour. You can see some of the arches, from your car in the parking lot, or while driving by from a distance, but there is something really magical about seeing, feeling and experiencing natures' magnificence up close!

I’m really glad I was able to do this trail and share how my experience was. I made a video while hiking this trail, and you can watch it on tiktok here

If you’ve been following my journey in my blogs, than you may have already read about my experiences doing some of the other trails at Arches National Park. If not, you can read about what I’ve covered so far here:

Denise Vasquez Photography ©2021

When writing about my project, I make sure to mention the FREE Lifetime ACCESS PASS every chance I get, because too many people that I've mentioned it to over the years, did not know about it! The ACCESS PASS is available to disabled people, you can learn about it in my blog here and inquire about it at the entry gate or at the visitor center.

I started my project over four years ago while I was in a wheelchair, using rolling walker and from time to time I’m still using my walking sticks, because personally I’ve discovered while visiting the parks, that many places that are rated accessible or “Easy”, are usually not for me!

Rather than be discouraged, angry or frustrated, I’ve discovered over the years that sharing updated information not only helps me, other disabled or elderly people with limited mobility like me, it helps bring awareness to people working at the parks and on the trails.

How do I know, because many people at the parks have reached out to me over the years, have continued to consult me over the years, and have thanked me for what I’ve been doing over the years!

It takes a lot of time, money and energy for me to keep this project going, I have put my heART, soul and everything I have into it, and knowing that what I’ve been doing has been making a difference inspires me to keep it going.

✅ If you would like to support my project, by making a contribution, Pay what you can! Donations are accepted in any amount because any contribution is never too small! Donations help support my time, research, planning, travels, gas, accommodations, scouting, photography, memory cards, hard drives, content created & info shared in Captioned YouTube videos, blogs, instagram posts, tiktoks & so much more.

Click on the link or button below to DONATE Now

Follow Me on Social Media to keep up with my journey & endeavors:

♿️ Disabled Photographer Project Instagram @DisabledPhotographerProject

♿️ Disabled Photographer Project & How Accessible Is Accessible Youtube channel

Denise Vasquez Official Instagram @DeniseVasquezOfficial

Travel & Landscape Photography Instagram @DeniseVasquezPhotographs

PROMOTE Magazine @PROMOTEmagazine

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