A family poses for a picture on a cabin porch at Lyman Lake State Park. A dog sits on the ramp by which the porch is accessible.

Edition 21 | Summer 2020

During a pandemic, more people are taking up camping to get away

by Kelly Beaubien

Lyman Lake State Park is a beautiful gem in Northeastern Arizona. Hidden away is a wonderful getaway from the Phoenix summer heat. As you turn the last bend after a long drive through flat farmland, you find yourself next to a gorgeous lake with lush greenery and towering groves of pine and Juniper trees.

The park offers a little something for everyone with accessible camping, fishing and hiking options to explore.

Camping at the state park is the best option if you want to enjoy all the amenities. The lake is just a short stroll from the cabins on-site. The ground is relatively firm approaching the water, allowing a wheelchair to get reasonably close to the water without issue. However, the closer to the water you get, the softer the terrain gets, and a wheelchair may get stuck.

A man in a wheelchair sits on the lakeshore, watching as his son fishes in front of him.

The lake offers a family-friendly activity: fishing–with a license–as it is full of largemouth bass, channel catfish, carp and walleye fish.

Those with motorboats, canoes and kayaks can also launch from the boat docks and spend a day on the water.

The park also has several hiking trails. The most interesting is the petroglyph trail, although it is not accessible yet. As you are walking along the ¼-mile path, ancient petroglyphs are visible. Hopi tribe ancestors drew these petroglyphs. Seeing these petroglyphs gives you a glimpse of what life was like for the ancient tribespeople.

The trail is not wheelchair accessible now, but steps are being taken to make it accessible.

“Before COVID-19 shut everything down, plans were starting to make parts of the trail wheelchair accessible.” The park ranger informed us at the camp general store. “Unfortunately, with everything getting closed, it may be longer before the trail is accessible by wheelchair.”

For those interested in staying overnight or through a long weekend, wheelchair-accessible cabins are available at the site for rent at $65 per night. Cabins have electricity, AC, a ramp, wheelchair accessible picnic table and firepit. The state park has eight total cabins, two being wheelchair-accessible.

Inside the cabins are a table and chairs, a set of bunk beds and a full-size bed. The cabins were reasonably big and easy to maneuver around inside. Each cabin comfortably sleeps four people and can fit as many as six people.

Dogs are also allowed in the cabins, with a pet fee, and must remain on a leash.

Image depicts an accessible bathroom stall in a campsite at Lyman Lake.

Less than 100 feet away were accessible bathrooms. The accessible stall was quite large, with enough room for a power wheelchair to turn around and a Hoyer lift (or other personal equipment).

Another amenity offered at Lyman Lake State Park is the general store with quick items available that you may have forgotten. The store was well laid out and easy for a person in a power wheelchair to access and move around. The park is about a 20-30 minute drive from the nearest town, so if you need other items, they are still easy to get.

Lyman Lake State Park is a wonderful and accessible campsite to visit. The friendly staff is accommodating and knowledgeable of the area. The views are breathtaking and the quiet campground is terrific to help you get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Accessibility meets camping in comfort is a win in our book. For more information about Lyman Lake State Park, visit AZStateParks.com/Lyman-Lake.

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Kelly Beaubien

Kelly Beaubien | Writer

Kelly Beaubien has been a member of the Ability360 family for over five years as a caregiver. Kelly has a bachelor’s in education from Arizona State University and teaches English to ESL students. She is the mother of two boys and wife to Ability360 graphic designer, John Beaubien. In her free time, she enjoys crafting and the occasional live 5k or virtual race.

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