Everyone can enjoy the beauty of Estes Park! You'll find lodging facilities, campgrounds, restaurants, laundries, showers, shuttle services, trails, wildlife viewing, even fishing spots that are disability accessible.
Estes Park's downtown area is a quaint, older town lined with many little shops and eateries. Services range from Dad's Laundry with a hot, clean, roll-in shower to shuttle service from DIA (Denver International Airport).
Behind the Tourist Information Center is the Lake Estes Trail. It is a flat concrete trail (1.4 miles one direction). This borders Lake Estes where there is a fishing pier designed for handicap access. The trail also borders the nine hole golf course, which is a frequent grazing spot for elk. There are picnic tables along the trail also, so one could pack a lunch and enjoy the scenery.
If fishing is your sport there are disability accessible fishing areas along the Big Thompson River east of Estes. Local Sports shops can direct you to the good “biting” spots and fix you up with any equipment you may need.
The Estes Park Quota Club has wheelchairs and other hospital equipment available for loan on a temporary basis. Arrangements can be made by calling the Estes Park Medical Center at 970-586-2317. A small, refundable deposit is required on all equipment.
Rocky Mountain National Park
United States citizens who have been determined to be blind, deaf, or permanently disabled for purposes of receiving benefits under federal law are eligible for a Golden Access Passport. This lifetime pass for free admission into all National Park Service areas is available at no charge. Please inquire at any information station.
All park visitor centers and museums have designated parking spaces bearing the International Symbol for Accessibility (ISA). These spaces are reserved for persons with disabilities. If you need to use these spaces, but do not have special license plates or placards for your vehicle, you may obtain a temporary parking permit at any park visitor center. To receive this free permit, you need to give the model, make and color of your vehicle, the license plate number, and the state where it is registered.
Assistance dogs trained to serve as aids for persons with medical, mobility, hearing or visual impairments are, by state law, allowed throughout areas of the park otherwise closed to domestic pets. This includes, but is not limited to, hiking trails, buildings, and picnic areas. In order to take your assistance dog into these areas, the animal must be trained and certified, and you should carry proper identification.
Bear Lake is fully accessible for 0.1 mile in each direction around the lake. Otherwise, marginally accessible, hard packed gravel trail encircling the lake.
Beaver Boardwalk is a moderately accessible 1/8-mile boardwalk through beaver ponds and lodges. Beaver Boardwalk has no ISA-designated parking.
Sprague Lake is fully accessible, hard packed gravel trail encircling the lake.
Coyote Valley is a fully accessible hard packed 1 mile gravel loop trail.
Lily Lake Trail: is fully accessible, hard packed gravel, loop trail.
Information on a wide variety of subjects about Rocky Mountain National Park is available for loan on audio tapes, large print, or in Braille format. These materials can be checked out and returned to any of the following locations: Park Headquarters, Moraine Park Museum, Alpine Visitor Center and Kawuneeche Visitor Center. The audio tapes require special tape players which can also be borrowed form the park.
Sprague Lake Handicamp provides tent camping for up to 10 people. Cost is $15 permit. It's open summer & fall. Call for reservations: 970-586-1242
Within the park and around Estes Park, wildlife abounds and can often be viewed from the roadway or a parking spot. Elk, mule deer, coyotes and bighorn sheep are the most common sights. Also one can see fox, marmots, squirrels, raccoons and birds including an occasional eagle or owl.
by Sue Baptista,
Miles Motel & Cottages