6 Best Wheelchair-Friendly Attractions In Colorado
Although Colorado is known for its rocky terrain and high altitude, there are tons of wheelchair-accessible activities you can enjoy with the whole family. If you’re planning a trip to the Centennial State, do some research ahead of time to find out what tourist spots are the most interesting to you. To help you get started, here’s a list of the best wheelchair-friendly attractions in Colorado.
1. The Denver Art Museum
One of the most exciting things to do in Denver with limited mobility is this massive art museum, which contains more than 70,000 pieces of art. As one of the largest art museums between the West Coast and the Midwest, it’s most known for its collection of Native American art (although there are works spanning everything from pre-Columbian art to fashion pieces).
Every area of the museum is wheelchair-accessible; it also offers wheelchairs to rent for the visit if you don’t have one of your own. Plus, with access to bathrooms in multiple spots throughout the space, it should be easy for you to get around without any hassle.
2. Denver Botanic Gardens
Another great spot in Denver is the Botanic Gardens, which offers a gorgeous Sensory Garden that was actually dedicated in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s near the visitor’s center and was specifically designed to have wide paths with traction and small inclines to make it easy to traverse in a wheelchair. Raised garden beds are also at an ideal height for folks in wheelchairs to fully see (and smell) the flowers.
Pretty much all of the indoor and outdoor gardens and facilities (including restrooms) are wheelchair-friendly. Just remember to stop at the visitor’s center when you arrive so the staff can give you a full rundown of all of the accessible routes in the gardens before you start exploring. This extra step can help make your visit much more convenient.
3. Wilderness on Wheels
If you’re looking for the best handicap accessible cabins in Colorado, look no further than Wilderness on Wheels (or WOW). Located at the base of Kenosha Pass, WOW offers wheelchair users the chance to explore nature in an accessible way.
The place is perfect for overnight stays, since the cabins, huts, and tents are all wheelchair-friendly. There’s also a great one-mile, eight-foot-wide boardwalk that allows you to explore fully. These cabins even offer the opportunity to fish for rainbow trout at an accessible fishing pond, so you can get the full outdoors experience when you visit!
4. Rocky Mountain National Park
If you’re looking for some great wheelchair-accessible hiking trails in Colorado, consider heading to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park. The park has some breathtaking views if you want to drive around, but there’s also a lot of wheelchair-accessible trails to allow you to get out and be immersed in nature.
The mile-long Lily Lake Trail, the half-mile long Sprague Lake Trail, and the mile-long Coyote Valley Trail are all great options, and will likely allow you to spot some wildlife like elk or moose. Another favorite trail for wheelchair users is the 0.6-mile loop at Bear Lake. Some areas are also perfect for camping adventures.
5. Great Sand Dunes National Park
If you’re interested in hiking but are looking for something a little different, check out the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The visitor center owns two sand wheelchairs that allow individuals with disabilities to explore the dunes. Trained guides help take visitors out in the wheelchairs and offer them a tour of the area.
This can be such a fun activity for more adventurous folks. Just don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time so that you can secure one of the sand wheelchairs for your visit.
6. Garden of the Gods Park
Set on exploring the Colorado Springs area? Many folks have found that the Garden of the Gods Park is one of the most fun things to do in Colorado Springs for disabled people. Cited by WheelchairTraveling.com, this city park offers 1,300 acres to explore.
The 1.5-mile paved loop through the park features incredible views of huge red sandstone rocks. And the best part (aside from the park being super accessible) is the fact that it’s free! There are also guided tours you can take if you’re interested in learning more about the area.
A trip to Colorado offers great options for wheelchair users. Do a little research before your vacation (don’t be afraid to call or email places to ask about accessibility), and make reservations when you can so that you’re always prepared. Once you’ve planned your trip, you can take advantage of all the sights and experiences Colorado has to offer. Just don’t forget to bring your handicap parking permit with you!