Convention & Visitors Bureau
2440 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 | 303.442.2911
Boulder is an adventure town with outdoor recreation for everyone. Wide-open spaces, fresh air, wildlife, camaraderie and all the other memorable experiences that happen on trails in natural spaces can be enjoyed year-round by people with disabilities.
The City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks program has assembled an excellent set of resources for hikers using wheelchairs, walkers and scooters. It includes an excellent series of videos, starting with the one below. These subsequent five- to six-minute, fast-motion videos show an entire accessible trail hiked by wheelchair user Topher Downham. Along the way he shows obstacles encountered, local flora and fauna, and activities available at each location.
The city has also published an incredibly thorough and helpful, 40-page accessible trails guide book (PDF) available for those seeking information about accessible hiking trails in Boulder. Please note that many designated trails sustained damage in the September 2013 flood and may not be as easy to navigate as they were before the flooding.
The following is a sampling of accessible paths and trails:
Right in the heart of town, this paved path follows Boulder Creek east from Boulder Canyon to the outskirts of the Valmont Reservoir. Its western end is unpaved (dirt and gravel) but becomes paved as the trail enters the city and travels through city parks, downtown Boulder, the edge of the University of Colorado campus and eastern Boulder.
This 1.75-mile Wonderland Lake trail starts on the south side of the Foothills Nature Center. The trail crosses a grassy field. From this point, the trail circles the lake, some of it on paved sidewalk and some fine-crushed gravel trail. The peninsula on the northeast corner of the lake is great for fishing from a wheelchair since it brings you very close to the water.
The mostly flat Teller Farm Trail can be accessed from the north or south. It cuts through prairie and farmland. Because the trail is wide open, it offers some amazing views of the Front Range peaks. A wheelchair-accessible fishing pier is located on the lake nearest the South Teller Trailhead with an overgrown, difficult crusher fines trail leading to it. At North Teller Trailhead, the Teller Lake #5 Trail ends at a wheelchair-accessible overlook of the lake about 0.14 mile up the trail. The average grade is about 2%, with one steep section, 9.6% for 6’ about 400’ down the trail. Prairie dogs love to dig holes in the trail so it's a good idea to keep your eyes open.
Find detailed information on 30 trails in the City of Boulder's OSMP Accessible Trails and Sites.
Wheelchairs are available for free check-out at the the Downtown Boulder visitor kiosk at 13th and Pearl Street. Visitors will just need to show two forms of ID and can borrow a wheelchair to explore downtown during the kiosk's open hours, Monday-Friday 10am-8pm. Call 303-417-1365 for more information.
Top two photos by Tom Chamberlin. Wonderland Lake photo by Denise Chambers/Boulder CVB.