What is and isn't allowed under park regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act? Learn about wheelchair usage and service animals in the natural areas and facilities of RMNP.
Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids
Mobility aids are allowed anywhere foot travel is permitted. This includes 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." Mobility Aids include walkers, canes, manual wheelchairs, mechanized wheelchairs, e.g. battery-powered, as long as they are suitable for indoor use.
Please note that weather conditions such as snow, ice, mud may impact access even in fully accessible locations. Park trails may contain hazards including loose gravel, uneven surfaces, rocks, tree roots, and steep areas.
Rocky Mountain National Park is proud to offer a free All-Terrain Wheelchair to visitors.
Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices
Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices (EPAMD) are two-wheeled, electrically propelled human transport devices, including Segways™. They 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 and Sprague Lake Trail.
Persons without a disability are not authorized to use a motorized wheelchair or EPAMD in these designated areas. EPAMDs do not meet the legal definition of a wheelchair.
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.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are permitted in all park facilities and on all trails. The exception to this are areas closed by the Superintendent to protect park resources. A service animal is allowed in park facilities, trails, etc. and must be acting in the service of a disabled person.
What is defined as a service animal?
Service animals are dogs that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities.
It is recommended that service animals wear a visible identification vest while in the park. 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.
What is NOT defined as a service animal?
Emotional support animals, also known as therapy animals, are not service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but are considered pets. Service dogs-in-training are not service animals under ADA requirements, but are considered pets. Pets may not access trails or other non-motorized areas and are not permitted inside park buildings such as visitor centers.
Pets are prohibited in all areas of Rocky Mountain National Park not accessible by motor vehicles, including all trails and meadows. However, pets are welcome to visit the park in vehicles and in parking lots, while always being contained in some capacity, i.e. dogs must be leashed, etc.
Why are pets not allowed?