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Colorado’s accessible adventures for all!

November 26, 2020 Visit USA No Comments

Colorado Tourism Office is demonstrating its passionate about providing opportunities that empower and encourage travel amongst all individual, with in recognition of International Day of People with Disability on December 3, Colorado is highlight the huge range of accessible national and state parks, wilderness areas, experiences, and hotels with to discover the best accessible tourism destinations in Colorado for people travelling with disabilities here.

They have chosen to highlight nine of the best:

U.S Olympic and Paralympic Museum

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Description automatically generatedDraw inspiration from the athletic legends that partake in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The first and only U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame opened in Colorado Springs in summer 2020. It is one of the most accessible museums in the country.

The sleek and futuristic design of its 60,000 square feet of space means the building has maximum accessibility and is inclusive for all visitors.

Guests receive a personalized electronic RFID tag upon entrance, featuring information about their needs and preferences, and many of the exhibits will automatically adjust to meet those requirements. Visitors are treated to interactive experiences, stunning architecture and a showcase of artifacts that embody the journey of the Team USA athletes.

Brewability Lab

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Description automatically generatedBrewability Lab in Denver joins a small but growing number of breweries around the world that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity by hiring adults with disabilities as brewers, bartenders, and servers.

Brewability Lab is also focused on providing an experience that is accessible to all its visitors: the fact that the premises is kid friendly as well as dog friendly, both inside and on their outdoor patio area, is a welcome bonus!

Wilderness On Wheels Foundation

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Description automatically generatedWilderness On Wheels Foundation’s mission is to stimulate the development of access for disabled persons to natural outdoor environments.

They achieved this through the construction of a 1-mile, 8-foot wide boardwalk starting at 9,100 feet to the top of a 12,300 foot mountain, 60 miles west of Denver near Grant. Interested visitors should note they are open May 15 to October 15 from 9am to 6pm.

National Parks

Colorado values every individual’s right to see the state’s natural beauty and immerse themselves in the abundance of its wildlife.

Many of Colorado’s 12 National Parks and National Monuments provide wheelchair-accessible touring information.

Here is a list of resources regarding accessibility measures at popular National Park spots and activities:

Special sand wheelchairs for exploring the famous dunes, camping and picnic areas in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Constructed accessible trails in Rocky Mountain National Park
Campsites, picnic areas, ranger talks and scenic overlooks in Colorado National Monument
Campgrounds and historic sites in Mesa Verde National Park
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Description automatically generatedVisitor centers and scenic overlooks in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Trails and archeological sites in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Outdoor exhibit area and trails in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Visitor center, trails and picnic areas in Hovenweep National Monument
Trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and exhibits at Dinosaur National Monument
State Parks

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which manages 42 state parks as well as wildlife programs and areas, has outlined accessible fishing locations, a big-game mobility-impaired hunting license program and more; check out their Park Finder map, which locates parks with accessible camping, fishing, hunting, picnic sites, restrooms, showers, swimming, trails and visitor centers.

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Description automatically generatedTo provide this opportunity to the disabled community, Staunton State Park now offers Action Trackchairs that allow visitors with limited mobility to explore designated trails in the park.

Head to Leadville

When it comes to accessibility Leadville is one of the best equipped areas. Last summer, Leadville completed a paving program, which added curb ramps to make the downtown historic district ADA-accessible. The Leadville Train, which runs Memorial Day weekend through October, can also accommodate both walkers and wheelchairs.

If you would like to board early, notify the ticket counter, and a tour guide will be able to assist you.

A train is coming down the mountain side

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There is a bathroom on board that is wheelchair accessible. However, do be aware that its ramp does not meet ADA specifications.

Other measures that make Leadville the perfect place for an accessible adventure include:

The Mount Massive Golf Course is ADA accessible during the summer.
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, open year round, has an ADA accessible visitor elevator that enables visitors to tour much of the museum. However, the hard rock mine exhibit and the west wing are not accessible to wheelchairs.
Temple Israel, a historical Jewish synagogue and museum, open by appointment year-round, has an ADA accessible ramp.
In summer, the Route of the Silver Kings driving tour takes visitors past historic mining structures in Leadville’s East Side Mining District.

Summer Adaptive Sports Adventures

Description automatically generatedMany centers and associations throughout Colorado have developed adaptive activities. Partake in everything from hiking trails to rock climbing. Here is a variety of year-round activities for disabled persons seeking indoor and outdoor adventures:

Rock Climbing with Paradox Sports: Paradox Sports, in partnership with the Boulder Rock Club, has established a bimonthly Front Range Adaptive Climbing Clinic for disabled climbers.
ASA Summer Program: Durango’s Adaptive Sports Association’s (ASA) summer program has supported accessibility for the best of Colorado’s summer activities. From rafting on the Animas River through historical sites to canoeing and kayaking, people of all ages and abilities can make their way down waterways.

CTRC Camps: Camps around the state, such as the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center (CTRC) provide the opportunity for children and adults with disabilities to experience riding and grooming horses with the assistance of certified instructors and qualified volunteers. In a fun and safe environment, the camps ensure a memorable learning experience where people with disabilities can accomplish a new skill.

ASC Summer Program: The summer program at the Adaptive Sports Center (ASC) brings a dynamic group of adaptive activities to the Crested Butte area. Activities within the program include downhill mountain biking, cycling, rock climbing, boating, hiking, horseback riding and more.
NSCD Summer Program: Colorado’s most comprehensive provider of adaptive outdoor experiences. As one of the largest and most comprehensive providers of adaptive experiences worldwide, the NSCD’s mission is to advance the power of people with all abilities through adaptive innovation and the joy of recreation and outdoor experiences. The National Sports Center for the Disabled’s (NSCD) summer program open to seniors, adults, and children, include rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, rock climbing and more.
TASP Summer Program: Telluride Adaptive Sports Program has been in operation for more than 20 years to provide individuals of all abilities an unparalleled outdoor experience in one of Colorado’s most scenic mountain towns. Whether visitors are interested in hiking, biking or rock climbing be sure to check out this Telluride summer accessible itinerary to plan some fun everyone can enjoy.
Winter Adaptive Sports Adventures

Description automatically generatedSeveral ski areas across the state offer adaptive sports programming including the Crested Butte Adaptive Sports Center and The National Sports Center for the Disabled-one of the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports agencies in the world-based out of Winter Park Resort. Here are some of the adaptive winter sports options:

The ASC Winter Program: Located atop Mt. Crested Butte, it uses the great terrain of Colorado to help the disabled of all ages participate in numerous winter activities. With Siblings Camps, Ladies Getaways and Monoski Camps, the ASC provides options for all abilities and interests. The program also offers full and half day ski, monoski, ski bike and snowboard lessons as well as hut trips and snowshoe outings.

NSCD Winter Program: The National Sports Center for the Disabled’s (NSCD) winter program open to seniors, adults and children, includes adaptive sports ranging from alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski bike and cross-country skiing. They are also offering virtual classes during the pandemic. To see a complete list, visit NSCD’s participate page, here.

ASA Winter Program: Durango’s Adaptive Sports Association’s (ASA) winter program has provided a variety of winter sports with instruction and equipment for people with disabilities. Lessons are typically one-on-one and are offered to people with every type of disability. State-of-the-art equipment and instruction make the winter program one of the best in the region. Instructors are trained to determine the best method for each participant and even use the method of “sit-skiing” to accommodate everyone’s trip down the slope.

TASP Winter Program: Telluride is as dynamic and versatile as its visitors, which is why TASP has aims to provide individuals of all abilities access to exciting outdoor experiences. Famed for its winter, this southwestern Colorado town is tucked into a remote canyon in the San Juan Mountains and is a skier’s haven. If guests are looking for a way to experience the best that is on offer, make sure to have a look at the Telluride winter accessible itinerary.

Accessible Itineraries

Looking for a trip that covers all the best spots, but can be enjoyed by everyone? Colorado Tourism Office is proud to unveil its all abilities Colo-Road Trips. With six featured on the site already (and more to come) simply go to the Color-Road Trips page and using the filter search all abilities.

For further information on all of Colorado’s proudly accessible places and experiences visit:

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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