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Accessible Boulder

Boulder is committed to inclusivity and accessibility for all who spend time in this beautiful city. For visitors experiencing disabilities, you'll find a range of resources for your trip, from accessible hiking trails and mobility device rentals to sensory-friendly museums and ASL captioning at local performances.


Hiking and Outdoors

OSMP Accessible Trails

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 at AccessibleOSMP.org. If you'd like a hard copy of OSMP's Accessible Trails & Sites brochure, please email us at visitor@bouldercvb.com. You can also find excerpts on our Accessible Trails page.

Photo by Tom Chamberlin
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Did You Know?

You can try power-assist hand-cycling for free with the City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP). If interested, please send an email to Topher Downham at downhamt@bouldercolorado.gov.

Sensory Trail

Located on Flagstaff Mountain's summit, Boulder’s Sensory Trail was designed for people with vision impairment to connect with nature. Interpretive signs along the trail are available in braille for low-vision hikers.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, one ADA spot at Sensory Trailhead; more spots available 0.1 miles from the trailhead here

Boulder's Sensory Trail

Top Accessible Nature Sights

Here are just a few of Boulder's most stunning and accessible areas to experience breathtaking natural beauty.

  • Panorama Point: Enjoy sweeping views of Boulder from Flagstaff Mountain. The scenic overlook at Panorama Point includes a wooden platform with a specific railing that allows those using wheelchairs an unobstructed view. Restroom: No. ADA parking: yes, one space (fees apply for non-residents). 
  • Wonderland Lake: Soak in the serene surroundings at Wonderland Lake, which has a mellow, 1.75-mile loop with a finely crushed rock surface. Restroom: No. ADA parking: Yes, two spaces.
  • Coot Lake: Explore the diverse wildlife on the flat 1.16-mile loop around Coot Lake and cast your line in at the wheelchair-accessible fishing pier adjacent to the parking lot. Restroom: Yes, ADA-accessible. ADA Parking: No.
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Learn More

You can read more about the accessibility information (including grade, surface material, slope, etc.) of these trails and more via the Boulder OSMP Accessible Trails and Sites PDF.

Photo by iStockphoto/GerardoBrucker

A stunning scene at Coot Lake in the winter


Top Things to Do in Boulder

Museum of Boulder

Learn about Boulder history through interactive exhibits while also experiencing rotating local art and events at the Museum of Boulder. Just two blocks off the Pearl Street Mall, the Museum of Boulder does an excellent job at making its facility accessible in a variety of ways. You'll find accessible restrooms on each floor, 100% wheelchair-accessible galleries and program spaces, captioning and transcriptions for audiovisual programs, and sensory-friendly materials, including Large-Print Social Narrative and a Sensory Guide PDF. Also, don't miss out on the gorgeous, elevator-accessible rooftop patio with views of the Flatirons.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, one ADA spot

The Museum of Boulder

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

The handcrafted Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is one of Boulder's must-experience spots on any trip. Enjoy dozens of tea varieties and locally sourced bites while basking in the vibrant interior carvings and paintings. The teahouse is wheelchair-accessible through the front walkway as well as a ramp leading to their South Patio and north-side door near the restrooms. Their tables can be made wheelchair accessible, but they request to be informed of the number of wheelchairs per reservation to accommodate beforehand properly.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible on 13th Street

Photo by Wally Gobetz/Flickr Creative Commons

The patios at Dushanbe

Chautauqua Park

At Chautauqua, you can learn about local history, flora and fauna from knowledgeable and passionate volunteers at the Ranger Cottage in the park. A wooden ramp takes you to a rock garden and trailhead with an amazing view of the Flatirons. The trails at You'll find a shaded picnic table in the rock garden as well as accessible restrooms, benches and parking in the area. Off-road wheelchairs are available at the Ranger Cottage. You can call ahead of time to reserve a chair (303-441-1959) or email Topher Downham for more information.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible

Photo by Gwen Gray

Chautauqua Park

Celestial Seasonings

Get an up-close look at how the largest tea manufacturer in North America blends ingredients into some of the country's most beloved teas. Taste any of the 90-plus teas in the tasting room. Wheelchairs and walkers are welcome on the tour. They also have wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that service animals are not allowed in the factory. 

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible

Celestial Seasonings's tea tasting room

Pearl Street

The Pearl Street Mall runs from 11th Street to 15th Street, where cars are prohibited on these blocks. Wheelchairs are available for free check-out at the Downtown Boulder visitor kiosk at 13th and Pearl Street. There are also ADA-accessible drinking fountains and benches throughout the mall.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible — located at 13th & Pearl and 9th & Canyon
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible — check for spaces on this interactive map

Photo by Gwen Gray

Pearl Street in the springtime

University of Colorado

The University of Colorado campus is worth visiting if only to admire the stunning architecture, idyllic ponds and views of the Flatirons. But if you happen to be attending an event or visiting one of their museums, the University strives to provide accessibility across the board. For example, Macky Auditorium offers wheelchair seating, American Sign Language (ASL) and captioning for most performances (upon request), and, for hearing-impaired patrons, the Phonic Ear® hearing assistance system.

A map of accessible parking, hearing loops and buildings with accessible entrances on campus at the University of Colorado can be found online at colorado.edu/map.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible

University of Colorado campus

Boulder Farmers Market

The Boulder Farmers Market, while often heavily trafficked, is wheelchair accessible, including a ramp to the restroom inside the nearby Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Restrooms: Yes, ADA accessible — inside BMoCA
Parking: Yes, ADA accessible — check for spaces on this interactive map

Boulder Farmers Market

Restaurants

Boulder's restaurants are ADA-compliant, and a complete list can be found on our Boulder Restaurants page. You can use the filters to find the type of cuisine you're looking for. A couple of eateries that go above and beyond are Corrida, a chic Spanish restaurant with mountain views, and Avanti F&B, a food hall with fire pits, two bars, seven restaurant concepts and a coffee shop — the only two spots for rooftop dining in Boulder with elevator access.

Photo by Gwen Gray

The rooftop at Corrida


Transportation

RTD and Public Transit

Boulder has some of the area's best public transit for getting around town, to the airport and between surrounding cities. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus system services much of Boulder. All RTD buses are accessible for mobility aids such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, segways, walkers and crutches. Bus operators are trained to assist passengers with disabilities boarding and exiting. Service animals are welcome aboard RTD vehicles.

Within Boulder, the HOP, SKIP and JUMP routes are some of the most convenient. The HOP's circuit, in particular, is a very useful shuttle-like service for visitors traveling to popular locations. Learn more about public transportation.

Summer Hiker Shuttles

On summer weekends, you can ride local shuttles to popular hiking areas to avoid parking frustrations. All park-to-park shuttles are ADA-compliant and accessible for people using wheelchairs. Accessible parking is provided in designated downtown parking structures. Read more about summer shuttle programs.

Photo by Karleen Lewis

Park to Park shuttle operated by VIA Mobility Services

Accessible Parking

Reserved accessible parking is provided in designated street spaces and downtown parking structures. The highest concentration of accessible on-street parking spaces can be found at the corner of 10th and Pearl. You can check for accessible parking spaces on the Interactive Map of City of Boulder Public Parking


Guided & Group Outdoor Experiences

Paradox Sports

Paradox Sports offers accessible climbing opportunities for people with differing abilities. Paradox organizes outdoor rock and ice climbing trips, community meet-ups, climbing skills clinics and other local programs. Check out their calendar of events to see what's happening locally while you are visiting.

Ignite Adaptive Sports at Eldora

Located at the base of Eldora ski area, just 21 miles from Boulder, Ignite Adaptive Sports provides programming for kids and adults with disabilities to experience Colorado's amazing outdoor winter sports. They offer alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ski biking and snowshoeing lessons.

Achilles Boulder

The Achilles International Boulder chapter hosts weekly meetups at Wonderland Lake Trailhead in North Boulder for people with disabilities, including but not limited to: blindness or low vision; cognitive, developmental and intellectual disabilities; deafness or hard of hearing; limb difference; cerebral palsy; and traumatic brain injuries. No matter your ultimate goal, all are welcome to meet new friends and go for a weekly ride or walk in the beautiful outdoors.

Free Adaptive Sailing Clinics 

Community Sailing of Colorado hosts free adaptive sailing clinics every other Monday at the Boulder Reservoir. Learn new skills on their fleet of Access 303 sailboats and RS Venture dinghies. Note: For individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility aids, Community Sailing currently does not have access to a crane or hoyer lift and are doing manual transfers using a hand-sling for the time being.

Boulder Reservoir Beach

EXPAND 

The City of Boulder facilitates recreation and leisure-based activities for people with disabilities through its wide-ranging program, EXPAND. They offer everything from general youth day camps to weekly adaptive waterskiing on Tuesday mornings from June to August at the Boulder Reservoir. Learn more about all of their offerings.

OSMP Programs

  • Roll and Stroll Hikes Guided hikes on OSMP-accessible trails to accommodate people in wheelchairs or experiencing a disability. Topics include wildflowers and wildlife, birdwatching, photography and fall colors.
  • Adaptive Bike Rides Guided power-assist adaptive bike rides between two and 20 miles long on OSMP land. Guides emphasize skill building, nature therapy, strengthening, cardiovascular training and confidence building on this often-times life-changing experience.
  • Memory Walks Guided hikes for people with early-to-mid-stage memory loss and their care partners, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association’s SPARK program. This experience often stimulates conversations, provides peer support and inspires creativity through engaging all senses.

If you would like more information, please contact Topher Downham at downhamt@bouldercolorado.gov.

 
Additional Resources

  • The City of Boulder offers a helpful reference page for visitors experiencing disabilities, which includes additional information about accessible trails, the Accessible Trails Guide Booklet, other mobility devices available to visitors and more.
  • If you know of other resources or businesses that should be highlighted on this page, please let us know! Email Sara Matthews at visitor@bouldercvb.com.