The city is known for its incredible green spaces and natural surroundings. Many of the city's top tourists attractions are located within or next to parks. Denver's well-rounded climate allows residents and visitors to enjoy sunbathing in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. With a one-cent sales tax dedicated to support of the arts, regularly approved and renewed by voters, significant investments have been made to create world-class museums.
The city is extremely accessible for the disabled and users of wheelchairs. Visitors will feel comfortable in the city of Denver regardless of their disability due to the adaptations made and the efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Accessibility Score: Excellent (20/25)
The wheelchair accessibility score is calculated based on five critical factors. Further information is provided below in the each section of this travel guide. This score is based upon our own conservative assessment of the city's accessibility.
Denver's public transportation system is fully accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users. By using a combination of light rail and bus service, wheelchair users can access all parts of the city. Information, tips and guidelines for using the public transportation network with a mobility challenge can be found below.
RTD Light Rail
The Denver Light Rail is fully wheelchair accessible on all trains and at all stations. The network features six lines which serve 46 stations. A map of the light rail system is available via a link below.
Riders access the light rail by climbing several steps. Wheelchair access to light rail trains is provided by a high platform, accessed via ramp, at each station. The first train car is equipped with a fold-out ramp which allows the wheelchair user to cross the gap and board or alight from the train. Wheelchair users should wait at the top of the elevated platform prior to the arrival of the desired train.
Seats at the front of each train car are reserved for the elderly and disabled. Spaces are also available for wheelchair users.
Transfers between all lines, excluding line W, are available at the 10th & Osage, Alameda and I-25 & Broadway stations. Free bus transfer to connection points is available from Union Station. Union Station is served by the W, C and E light rail trains.
City bus network
The Regional Transportation District, RTD, operates 127 city bus routes within and around the city of Denver. Service times and schedules vary among routes.
All city buses are wheelchair accessible with lowered floors and wheelchair ramps or lifts. Buses offer spaces for wheelchair securement with provided tie downs and straps. Priority seating is available for the elderly and disabled.
A special city bus route, the SkyRide, offers service between Denver International Airport (DEN) and downtown Denver. Connections to other bus routes and the light rail can be made at Union Station.
Fares, route maps and schedules
Fares on the light rail and city bus services vary based on distance traveled. The public transit network is broken into four zones, with the city's central, downtown and business districts occupying zones 1 and 2. The cost of light rail and bus travel across one or two zones is $2.25, three zones is $4.00 and four zones is $5.00. Day passes are available for $6.75 (up to 2 zones), $11.50 (3 zones) or $14.00 (all 4 zones).
Fares for the SkyRide are $11.00 between Denver airport and downtown.
Seniors aged 65+ or disabled patrons with a valid Medicare card, a state disability card or who have a visible physical impairment (i.e.: using a wheelchair) are granted a discount rate of half off all normal fares. Details on the application process for a reduced fare ID can be found HERE.
- For a map of the light rail system, CLICK HERE (PDF).
- For bus/light rail times, schedules and directions, CLICK HERE.
- For a list of SkyRide routes, schedules and times, CLICK HERE.
- For additional information on RTD accessibility, CLICK HERE.
- For information on the city's ADA Paratransit service and to see if you qualify, CLICK HERE.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of accessibility of the world's public transit systems, please use the comments section at the bottom of this page to share your experiences and any changes you may have noticed in Philadelphia.
Accessible Taxi Services
Denver has a relatively small size fleet of wheelchair taxis which can accommodate both manual and powered wheelchairs. The accessible taxi vans have a lowered floor and are equipped for side or rear (lift gate) entry. Accessible taxis have ramps, offer roll-in/out ability and are outfitted with wheelchair securement straps and tie-downs. Wheelchair taxis can be ordered on demand, but wait times are extremely variable -- from 15 minutes to an hour. Accessible cabs are directed to the airport with priority. For all other calls, travelers should reserve the ADA compliant taxi with at least two hours advanced notice.
Denver Yellow Cab
Wheelchair taxis are charged at the same rate as a normal taxi. Denver's city-approved fares are below:
Flag Drop & first 1/9 mile -- $2.50
Per additional mile -- $2.25
Waiting time (per minute) -- $0.375
Per additional person -- $1.00
Surcharge (for trips originating at airport) -- $4.15
Flat Rate (Airport to/from downtown) -- $51.00
Charges for luggage or use of the taxi trunk are not permitted. Additional charges for wheelchair handling are illegal.
Denver International Airport (DEN) is fully accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users.
Taxis can be ordered on demand from the airport. Access to the city's SkyRide public bus is available at the airport. Travelers should follow the signs to the SkyRide sales desk at baggage claim. It is located at door 506 on the West side of the terminal. The SkyRide "AF" bus line provides service to Union Station in downtown Denver. Five other lines provide service to Northglen/Thornton (Line AA), Boulder/BroomField/Louisville/Westminster (Line AB), Northeast Denver/Stapleton (Line AS) and Southeast Denver/Aurora/Greenwood Village (Line AT). For more information on the SkyRide and routes, visit rtd-denver.com.
Each terminal features ADA compliant restroom facilities. For additional information on the accessibility of DEN, visit flydenver.com.
Should you require a wheelchair at the airport or any other type of assistance, contact your airline directly prior to travel.
Note: Many websites, tour guides and Denver locals refer to the airport as "DIA." While this is an acronym for Denver International Airport, DIA is not the three-letter airport code assigned by the FAA/IATA. When searching for flights online, you will need to search using Denver's airport code, DEN.
Accessibility of Sidewalks/Streets
Denver is a very walkable and "rollable" city.
The condition of sidewalks varies between neighborhoods. The smoothest and most well cared for sidewalks are located in the central business district, by the civic center and near the state capitol. In less touristed parts of the city, sidewalks may have cracks, potholes or other impediments that may make a smooth roll difficult to achieve. This is not uncommon for cities in the United States.
Curb cuts are present at nearly all intersections. Certain crosswalks in the low traffic areas with sidewalks in disrepair may not lead to an accessible curb, but this is a rare exception. The city is particularly flat, with few changes in elevation. Users of manual wheelchairs and those who have difficulty walking should not have trouble getting around the city.
Winter weather and snowfall will present additional challenges to those navigating the sidewalks by wheelchair. While the city makes a concerted effort to clear sidewalks of snow, wheelchair users may wish to rely on public transportation while snow is on the ground.
Attractions & Sights
The Mile High City features a wealth of both free and paid attractions, museums and sights, the majority of which are fully accessible. Listed below are many of these top sights and activities. All listed here are at least partially wheelchair accessible.
Note: For each of the below-listed attractions, the nearest RTD light rail station is listed. All listed stations are within one mile of the attraction. If no station is listed, the distance to the nearest accessible station is greater than one mile. Please share any experiences you have accessing these sights in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Larimer Square is a series of blocks in the downtown district that was the launching point for the city's expansion and growth. Larimer Square was the site of Denver's first post office, bank, theater, bookstore and dry goods store. The first city and county government buildings were built across from the square. It was also home to the Gahan Saloon, the gathering place for politicos, police officers and reporters. Today, Larimer Square is home to over 40 restaurants, shops and bars/clubs. While many are purely local options, there are a few chains such as Ted's Montana Grill and Starbucks Coffee. Each of the restaurants and bars is wheelchair accessible in compliance with the ADA. For a list of businesses at Larimer Square, visit larimersquare.com.
Nearest light rail: 0.4 miles from D/F/H lines at Theater District/Convention Center station
Colorado State Capitol Building
The Colorado State Capitol Building was constructed in the 1890s and takes many design cues from the United States Capitol Building. The building is topped by a gold leaf plated dome, in recognition of the role of the Colorado Gold Rush in shaping the state's history. The building is home to the Colorado State Assemble and the offices of the state's Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Tours of the Capitol are offered free of charge, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Tours of the building and the House and Senate galleries are wheelchair accessible, with one exception. The dome at the top of the building can only be accessed via 99 steps and is not wheelchair accessible. For those able to make the climb, the dome offers 36-degree views of downtown Denver and the city skyline. For more information on the tour, visit colorado.gov.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Opened in 1951, the Denver Botanic Gardens is a 23-acre park containing a conservatory, a number of theme gardens, an amphitheater and the world's first Xeriscape demonstration garden. The park contains North America's largest collection of plants from cold temperate climates. Among the 42 garden exhibits include the Drawf Conifer Collection, the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Pavilion, the Orangery and the South African Plaza. The cost of admission is $12.50 for adults and $9.50 for seniors aged 65+. Most of the Denver Botanic Gardens facilities and exhibits are wheelchair accessible, but some areas can only be accessed with staff assistance. For more information on the park, its exhibits or accessibility, visit botanicgardens.org.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum holds one of the most impressive collections of art in the western United States. The museum is spread across three major buildings, the Duncan Pavilion, the 7-story North Tower and the recently constructed Frederic C. Hamilton Building. The art collection spans multiple centuries and continents. Exhibits include: Architecture, Design, and Graphics; Asian Art; Modern and Contemporary Art; Indigenous Arts; New World Collection; Photography; and Textile Art. Tickets to the museum are $13.00 for adults and $10.00 for seniors age 65+. Additional discounts are available to residents of Colorado. The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users. For more information on the museum, its art collections, or tickets, visit denverartmuseum.org.
City Park is a 330-acre urban park located in east-central Denver. The park is the city's largest and contains a number of the city's top attractions, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Also within the park's boundaries are the Ferril and Duck Lakes, a paddle-boat house and a golf course. A statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is also inside the park. The park grounds are wheelchair accessible, with pathways throughout and regularly trimmed grass lawns.
Founded in 1896, the Denver Zoo welcomes more than 1.6 million visitors annually. The zoo is located within City Park on 80 acres of land. The zoo's first animal was an American black bear. With the construction of its Bear Mountain exhibit, it became the first zoo to house animals in naturalistic habitats rather than steel cages. The zoo's natural habitats expanded to include Primate Panorama, Predator Ridge ad, most recently, the Toyota Elephant Passage. The Denver Zoo is currently home to 4,125 animals across 613 different species. The zoo is mostly wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users may not be able to see over walls surrounding some exhibits and several viewing platforms can only be accessed via 2-3 steps. Some of the zoo's pathways are somewhat steep, which could tire the manual wheelchair user. For more information on the zoo, its exhibits or to purchase tickets, visit denverzoo.org.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Founded in 1900, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science occupies a 500,000-square-foot building in City Park. The Museum has a diverse and rotating series of exhibits focused on anthropology, geology, health science, paleontology, space science and zoology. The permanent exhibits include Egyptian Mummies, Gems & Minerals, North American Indian Cultures, Prehistoric Journey and Space Odyssey. The museum also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium. The museum is fully accessible and ADA compliant. For more information on the museum, exhibits or tickets, visit dmns.org.
United States Mint
The United States Mint in Denver, opened in 1863, is only one of four such facilities in the United States. The Denver Mint produces all denominations of American coin currency, including several of the United States' commemorative coins. The Mint is capable of producing up to 50 million coins in one day. The Mint also stores large amounts of silver bullion. Tours of the facility are available Monday through Friday and reservations must be made via usmint.gov. The tours, which are guided and last 45 minutes, are provided free of charge. The tour is wheelchair accessible, but visitors with disabilities or special needs are asked to contact the Mint at least one week prior to a scheduled visit so that preparations can be made. The Mint's disability tour coordinator can be reached at (303) 405-4761.
Coors Brewery Tour
MillerCoors is a producer of beer with a brewery located 15 miles from Denver in Golden, Colorado. MillerCoors was created after Miller Brewing Company and Coors Brewing Company merged. The MBC was founded in 1855 and the CBC in 1873. It was in 1873 that Adolph Coors opened his brewery in Golden, Colorado, where it remains today. A free, self-guided tour of the modern day brewery's malting, brewing and packaging processes is available. The tour concludes with a free tasting of a shifting selection of MillerCoors beers. Purses, backpacks and large bags of any kind cannot be brought into the brewery. The tour is accessible to wheelchair users and others with special needs, but the brewery asks you notify them in advance so that preparations can be made for your visit. For more information on the brewery tour and for contact information for the disability coordinator, visit millercoors.com. Despite the brewery's distance from downtown Denver, the Denver RTD bus operates a stop within walking distance of the brewery tour center.
Professional Sports Teams
Five professional sports teams reside in Denver and each stadium offers accessible seating and wheelchair access. The NFL's Denver Broncos, MLB's Colorado Rockies, NBA's Denver Nuggets, NHL's Colorado Rockies and MLS's Colorado Rapids each provide exciting game day experiences. Links to the team-specific accessibility information and ticket office phone numbers are listed below. Each stadium is accessible via public transportation. Details for each team, information on how to reach the stadiums and links to stadium accessibility information is provided below.
NFL - Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Website - Disabled Access Info
MLB - Colorado Rockies
Website - Disabled Access Info
NBA - Denver Nuggets
Website - Disabled Access Info
NHL - Colorado Avalanche
Website - Disabled Access Info
MLS - Colorado Rapids
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Website - Disabled Access Info (PDF)
Due to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the vast majority of hotels in the United States are wheelchair accessible and have rooms with roll-in showers. All major brand hotels have these facilities. For individuals requiring a roll-in shower, we recommend you book with a national hotel chain. For the best deals, book through one of the following online travel agencies.
Prior to, or within 24 hours of booking, call the hotel to reserve the exact room type you require. Sometimes, this can be done during booking through the online travel agencies below.
Accessible Van Rental / Wheelchair Repair
The following businesses offer wheelchair repair, wheelchair rental or accessible van rental. If you have done business with any of these companies, please share your experiences in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
333 East 76th Avenue, Denver, CO 80122
Services: Accessible van rental
Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals
205 East Dry Creek Road, Little, CO 80122
Services: Accessible van rental
Mobility 4 America
4255 Osceola Street, Denver, CO 80212
Services: Wheelchair rental
USA Mobility, Inc.
7808 Cherry Creek S Drive, Ste. 116, Denver, CO 80231
Services: Wheelchair rental
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WheelchairTravel.org is committed to providing the information disabled travelers need to access the world. This website offers the detailed accessibility reports that travel guide books can't contain. Travel guides are sold primarily to people who do not worry about the height of curbs or the size of gaps between subway platforms. They dedicate little space to information for the disabled traveler and the information is often incorrect. Still, guide books can be useful because they provide the general tourist background information about attractions and sights that can be carried in your backpack. Guide books also include a large number of photographs and maps of the city. Pair this information with what you learned about accessibility on this website and you'll soon be making memories to last a lifetime.
If you would like more tourist information for this or any other destination, please consider purchasing a travel guide book from Lonely Planet through our referral link. We will receive a small commission from your purchase and will use the money to further expand this resource for the benefit of others.