Access Rocky Guide

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. This beautiful park has many accessible facilities for visitors, including visitor centers, scenic overlooks, self-guided trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and a backcountry campsite.

The National Park Service is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to benefit from our facilities, programs, services, and activities whether they are indoors or outdoors

 
Access Pass
Access Pass

Fees and Passes

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are permanently disabled or blind are eligible for the Interagency Access Pass. This free, lifetime admission pass is valid at National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation sites. It provides the pass owner and accompanying passengers in a private vehicle free admission to Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Access Pass is available at no charge when obtained in person at designated locations or for a $10 processing fee online with proof of eligibility. The pass is nontransferable and does not generally cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires. Visitors with Access Passes receive a 50 percent discount on camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. In Rocky Mountain National Park, the Access Pass is available at all park entrance stations.

Visitors must supply their Access Pass number when making a camping reservation. For more information or to download an application, visit www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm.

 
Simulated stack of park newspaper and large print brochure
Brochures
Braille and large-print versions of our park brochure are available at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center. You can also download PDFs of our brochures for use with assistive technology.
 

Cell Phones

Do not rely on cell phones in Rocky Mountain National Park. Many locations in this rugged park have no service.

 
Most Park Shuttle Buses are accessible

NPS photo

Park Shuttle Buses

Free shuttle buses operate in the Bear Lake Corridor of the park. All park shuttle buses are accessible with wheelchair lifts and tie downs. Bus drivers will assist passengers on and off the buses. If you need assistance, ask the bus driver

 
Service Dog credit CCI

Canine Companions for Independence

Service Animals

Service animals are permitted in all park facilities and on all trails, with the exception of areas closed by the Superintendent to protect park resources. Service animals are dogs that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities. A service animal that is allowed in park facilities, trails, etc., must be doing so in the service of a disabled person. Emotional support ("therapy animals") are not service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but are pets, and may not access trails or other non-motorized areas, nor park buildings. Service dogs-in-training are not service animals under ADA, but are considered pets. Pets are prohibited in all areas of Rocky Mountain National Park not accessible by motor vehicles, including all trails and meadows. For more information about pets in Rocky Mountain National Park, click on this link https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/pets.htm.

Be aware that it is common for other visitors to ask questions, make unwanted remarks, or to report service animals to law enforcement officers if they are not aware the dog is a service animal and allowed to be in locations where pets are not generally allowed. For these reasons, it is recommended that service animals wear a visible identification vest while in the park

 

Resources

The National Park Service website on accessibility: https://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/access/index.htm.
The Disabled Traveler's Companion website has detailed information about accessible facilities in the park: http://www.tdtcompanion.com/NPS/Rocky/
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD): 970-586-1319.
The park film is captioned for hearing impaired visitors at Beaver Meadows and Kawuneeche visitor centers, and features audio description for the visually impaired
at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.
Park staff can arrange for a certified sign language interpreter; since this park is in a rural area, please allow two weeks. Call 970-586-1206.

 
Visitor in wheelchair behind BMVC

NPS photo

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchairs are allowed anywhere foot travel is permitted, including trails and wilderness, if the device is “designed solely for use by a person who has a mobility impairment for the locomotion, and is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area”. This includes mechanized wheelchairs, e.g. battery-powered, as long as it is suitable for indoor use.

Be advised the seasonal conditions may impact access even in fully accessible locations. Park trails may contain hazards including loose gravel, uneven surfaces, rocks, tree roots, and steep areas.

 

Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices

Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices (EPAMD), which are two-wheeled, electricallypropelled human transport devices including Segways™, are permitted in the following areas when being operated as an assistance device by persons with mobility disabilities:

  • Sidewalks and parking areas
  • Roads closed to motor vehicles unless otherwise posted
  • The following accessible park trails:
    • Coyote Valley Trail
    • Lily Lake Trail
    • Holzwarth Historic Site Access Road
    • Sprague Lake Trail

Persons without a disability are not authorized to use a motorized wheelchair or EPAMD in these designated areas.

Use of EPAMDs on park trail systems, other than those accessible trails listed above, is prohibited because of increased potential for injury to visitors, damage to natural resources, increased hazard of surprising wildlife, and hazards to EPAMD operators in steep, loose, or slippery conditions that are consistently encountered on park trails. EPAMDs do not meet the legal definition of a wheelchair.

 

Visitor Centers & Educational Programs

All park visitor centers feature bookstores and information desks accessible to wheelchairs

Alpine Visitor Center (11,796 feet)
Accessible parking spaces. No picnic tables. Accessible restrooms (vault toilets) all season and summer (flush) at east end of visitor center. Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, weather permitting.

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (7,840 feet)

Open year-round except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts. Accessible restrooms (flush toilets). Lift between floors (750-pound limit).
Park film is captioned for hearing impaired and features audio description for the visually impaired.
An induction loop receiver is provided in the auditorium for the benefit of hearing aid users.

Fall River Visitor Center (8,250 feet)
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts.
Accessible restrooms located in adjacent store via covered walkway (flush toilets).
No picnic tables. Adjacent restaurant.
Elevator between floors (2000-pound weight limit).

Kawuneeche Visitor Center (8,720 feet)
Open year-round except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts.
Accessible restrooms (flush toilets).
No picnic tables.
Auditorium features park film, which is captioned for hearing impared.

Moraine Park Discovery Center (8,140 feet)
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts.
Accessible restrooms (flush toilets).
No picnic tables
Elevator between floors (500-pound weight limit).

Ranger-led Programs
Assisted listening devices are available for ranger-led programs with a three day advance notice. Call the park's main number 970-586-1206 for more information.

Sign Language Interpreter
A contracted sign language interpreter can be provided with a month's advance notice to accompany the ranger during the ranger-led program. Under a month? The park will do its best to meet the request but may not be able to provide a sign language interpreter for the program. Call the park's main number 970-586-1206 for more information.

 

Facilities in Fall River Area

Fall River Visitor Center (8,250 feet)
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts.
Accessible restrooms located in adjacent store via covered walkway (flush toilets).
No picnic tables.
Elevator between floors (2000-pound weight limit).

Sheep Lakes (8,520 feet)
Accessible parking spaces with curb cuts.
No restrooms, No picnic tables.
Information and programs in the summer.

 

Along Trail Ridge Road (listed east to west)

Beaver Boardwalk
No accessible parking or curb cuts.
No accessible restrooms. No picnic tables.
1/8-mile boardwalk has moderately steep grade.

Hidden Valley (9,240 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (flush toilets).
Covered picnic pavilion; accessible picnic tables.
400 feet of paved accessible trail.

Many Parks Curve Overlook (9,640 feet)
No accessible parking.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.
Cross Trail Ridge Road from the west parking lot to the boardwalk and the steep trail to the overlook.
The east side of Trail Ridge Road is plowed to this overlook in winter.

Rainbow Curve Overlook (10,829 feet)
No accessible parking.
Curb cut and sidewalk make area accessible.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
No picnic tables.

Forest Canyon Overlook (11,716 feet)
Accessible parking.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.
Paved trail to platform at overlook is uneven and steep in places.

Rock Cut Overlook & Tundra Communities Trail
(Rock Cut 12,310 feet; trail gains 260 feet)

Accessible parking with curb cuts to sidewalk.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
No picnic tables.
The ½-mile paved trail is steep and uneven.

Lava Cliffs Overlook (12,000 feet)
No accessible parking spaces.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.

Gore Range Overlook (12,010 feet)
No accessible parking spaces.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.

Alpine Visitor Center (11,796 feet)
Accessible parking spaces. No picnic tables.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets) all season and summer (flush) at east end of visitor center.
Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, weather permitting.
Visitor Center information desk is accessible to wheelchairs.

Medicine Bow Curve Overlook (11,660 feet)
No accessible parking.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.

Milner Pass - Continental Divide (10,758 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
No picnic tables.

Lake Irene (10,748 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Accessible picnic tables.
Trail to Lake Irene is steep and has steps.

Farview Curve (10,120 feet)
No accessible parking.
No restrooms. No picnic tables.

Colorado River Trailhead (8,990 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Dirt trails are uneven.
The west side of Trail Ridge Road is plowed to this point in winter.

Timber Lake Trailhead (9,000 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Picnic tables not accessible. Trail is not accessible.

Holzwarth Historic Site (8,884 feet)
Accessible parking but parking lot is unpaved.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Picnic tables not accessible.
Wheelchair and motorized wheelchair-accessible ½-mile gravel path to historic site is steep in places.
In summer a staff-operated golf cart can take visitors to the site.
Interiors of historic structures are not wheelchairaccessible.
Walkways around the several buildings are rough and unpaved.

Bowen-Baker Gulch Trailhead (8,864 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Picnic tables are not accessible.

Coyote Valley Trail (8,840 feet)
Accessible parking. Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Accessible picnic tables.
Wheelchair and motorized wheelchair-accessible
1-mile level-grade packed gravel trail; use of gloves may be helpful.

Harbison Meadows (8,688 feet)
Accessible parking. No restrooms.
The 2 accessible picnic tables are in a covered pavilion.
Packed gravel path from parking area to picnic area is sloped.

 

Accessible Trails
Be advised that park trials contain hazards including loose gravel, uneven surfaces, rocks, tree roots and steep areas.

Bear lake (9,475 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms.
No picnic tables.
Bear Lake is about 200 yards from the parking area. A ½-mile packed gravel trail circles Bear Lake. The first portion of the trail is accessible in either direction; farther along, trail grades exceed 8% in places. The trail on the southwest side of the lake has log "steps;" go counterclockwise to go down these steps or clockwise to go up them; assistance may be needed.

 
Bear Lake Nature Trail
 

Coyote Valley Trail (8,840 feet)
Accessible parking. Accesssible picnic tables.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets)
Accessible 1-mile level-grade, packed gravel trail crosses the Colorado River into the Kawuneeche Valley. Use of gleoves may be helpful.

Lily Lake (8,880 feet)
Accessible parking. Accessible picnic tables.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Accessible 3/4 mile packed gravel circles Lily Lake. Adjoining trails are not accessible.
Accessible fishing pier.

Sprague Lake (8,690 feet)
Accessible parking. Accessible picnic tables.
Accessible restrooms (summer flush/winter vault).
Accessible 1/2-mile packed gravel trail circles Sprague Lake. Benches and fishing platforms are located along the trail.
Accessible campsite located near Sprague Lake (see Wilderness Camping section).

 

Along Bear Lake Road

Hollowell Park (8,300 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
Accessible picnic tables.
Mill Creek Basin Trail is not accessible.

Tuxedo Park Picnic Area (8,120 feet)
Accessible parking.
No restrooms.
Picnic tables not accessible.

Sprague Lake (8,690 feet)
Accessible parking. Accessible picnic tables.
Accessible restrooms (summer flush/winter vault).
Accessible ½-mile packed gravel trail circles Sprague Lake.
Benches and fishing platforms are located along the trail.
Accessible campsite located near Sprague Lake (see Wilderness Camping section).

Bear Lake (9,475 feet)
Accessible parking.
Accessible restrooms (vault toilets).
No picnic tables.
Bear Lake is about 200 yards from the parking area. A 1/2-mile packed gravel trail circles Bear lake. The first portion of the trail is accessible in either direction; farther along, trail grades exceed 8% in places. The trail on the southwest side of the lake has log "steps;" go counterclockwise to go down these steps or clockwise to go up them; assistance may be needed.

 

Camping

Two campgrounds in the park have accessible campsites, Moraine Park and Timber Creek; two do not, Aspenglen and Longs Peak. Glacier Basin Campground is closed in 2013. Holders of the America the Beautiful Access Passes and Golden Age Passes can camp at a 50% discount.
Summer reservations for As;englen and Moraine Park Campgrounds can be made up to six months in advance at www.reserveamerica.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.

Aspenglen Campground (8,220 feet)
No accessible campsites.
Accessible parking near amphitheater.
Trail to amphitheater is paved and steep in places.
Restrooms by amphitheater have steep grades leading to them.
Picnic table not accessible.

Longs Peak Campground (9,405 feet)
No accessible campsites.
No accessible parking.
Restrooms not accessible.
Picnic tables not accessible.

Glacier Basin Campground (8,500 feet)
Currently this campground is closed.

Moraine Park Campground (8,150 feet)
Four reservable accessible campsites are located in the A Loop.
Accessible parking by accessible campsites and amphitheater.
Accessible amphitheater.
Accessible restroom adjacent to campsites.
Accessible picnic tables at accessible campsites.
Raised fire grates at accessible campsites.
Site A39
Max vehicle length 20 feet.
Overhang depends on camping unit. 1 slide-out.
Parking is level, 23 feet x 12 feet.
Tent pad 15 feet x 11 feet. 160 feet to restroom.
Sunny. Best suited for conversion van or slide-in truck camper, 1 small tent.
Site A40
Max vehicle length 30 feet.
No overhang. Slide-outs both sides.
Parking is level, 30 feet x 12 feet.
Tent pad 18 feet x 15 feet. 120 feet to restroom.
Sunny. Best suited for a medium-sized RV, 1 small tent.
Site A41
Max vehicle length 35 feet.
Overhang depends on camping unit. Slide-outs both sides.
Parking is level, 36 feet x 12 feet.
Tent pad 19 feet x 16 feet. 75 feet to restroom.
Shady. Best suited for medium-sized RV, 1 small tent.
Site A42
Max vehicle length 40 feet.
Overhang depends on camping unit. Slide-outs both sides
Parking is level, 40 feet x 15 feet
Tent pad 14 feet x 14 feet. 90 feet to restroom.
Sunny. Best suited for a large RV, 1 small tent.

Timber Creek Campground
Two first-come, first-served accessible campsites are located int he B loop. Accesible campsites are set aside for campers with disabilites until 6:00 p.m. each evening; if not filled by then, other campers can stay in those sites for the night only.
Accessible parking by accessible campsites and amphitheater.
Accessible restroom.
Accessible picnic tables at accessible campsites.
Raised fire grates at accessible campsites.
Site B22
Maximum vehicle length 16 feet.
Parking is 18 feet long x 22 feet wide.
Tent pad is 13 feet x 30 feet.
Site B24
Maximum vehicle length 30 feet.
Parking is 37 feet long x 21 feet wide.
Tent pad is 13 feet x 30 feet.
Site B26
Maximum vehicle length 24 feet.
Parking is 26 feet long x 22 feet wide.
Tent pad is 10 feet x 15 feet

 

Wilderness Camping

Sprague Lake Camp
The park's wheelchair-accessible wilderness campsite is near scenic Sprague Lake. The camp is located one-half mile from the parking area via a fully accessible packed gravel trail, at about 8,700 feet of elevation. The camp accommodates up to 12 campers including a maximum of five wheelchairs.

The camp is available year-round. Reservations are made with the park's Wilderness Office online or in person. Please contact the Wilderness Office at (970) 586-1242 with any questions or trip planning needs. A party may stay at the campsite a maximum of three consecutive nights.

This is a rustic wilderness campsite with few facilities. There are no hookups and no electrical outlets for medical appliances. Campers park at Sprague Lake, one-half mile away, where ISA-designated parking is available. All gear, water, and firewood must be packed in. Facilities include accessible picnic tables, a fire grate and charcoal grill, and accessible privy. A water faucet is not provided.

Last updated: June 20, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517

Phone:

(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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