When traveling or enjoying a close-to-home staycation, no one wants to be left out regardless of age and physical abilities. The good news is destinations around the U.S. and world are paying attention and making it easier. Here are numerous accessible vacation options in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Enjoy the world's largest hot springs
At Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, the warm, mineral-rich water flows from the on-property Yampah Spring and soothes mind, body and spirit. The main pool is kept at a pleasant 90° to 93°F and the Therapy Pool hovers around a divine 104°F. To help people get in and out of the water, there are chair lifts for these two pools and the Hanging Lake Pool in the family friendly Sopris Splash Zone. In addition, there is a ramp and lighting that guides the way into the Therapy Pool, which reopened in 2022 after being fully redesigned and refreshed, and zero-depth entry into Sopris Splash Zone.
Need a place to rest and regroup? Rental cabanas are located throughout the pool area, including two on the ground level for ease of use.
The resort also has several features in place to make sure locals and visitors with accessibility needs start off their pool visit on a positive note. The parking lot adjacent to the historic sandstone bathhouse has several ADA parking spaces, and there is a ramp leading to the pool entrance that has accessible doors that open at the simple push of a button. A wheelchair is available for helping pool-goers transition from the parking lot to the pool, lobby and spacious main-floor locker rooms that have ADA-compliant entrances and bathrooms. There also is a family bathroom/changing room that is wheelchair accessible.
The website and social media channels for Accessible Adventures stems from a Colorado-based couple’s travels with their son, Robbie, who has a rare form of epilepsy. The couple and three of their four children visited Glenwood Hot Springs Resort in early October. Kristy, Robbie’s mom, noted the resort’s “entirely accessible kid’s zone” in a blog post. She says, “The Sopris Splash Zone is a kid’s wonderland with padded ground safe for crawling or knee walking like my son. There is a splash pad, baby pool area, slides and a lift into the kid’s pool!”
She added, “Something I loved about this location was there are no time limits and no extra fees for slides, etc. You can come in the morning, stamp your hand on the way out and come back after a break or lunch. … This pool does get busier, but it is so large you aren’t crowded in the water at all."
In an article last year about four ADA-compliant hot springs in Colorado that was published in Denver’s 5280 magazine, writer Susan Joy Paul notes that at “this 134-year-old Colorado icon, home to the largest outdoor hot springs pool in the world, offers three ADA-accessible watery options.” As mentioned, these include the main pool, Therapy Pool and Sopris Splash Zone. Paul also highlighted the convenient locker rooms and ADA-accessible hotel rooms on-site.
While at the hot springs, enjoy the ultimate in relaxation by staying overnight at Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge, which has five ADA parking spaces, a ramp to the lodge’s front door, and four ADA rooms including one with a roll-in shower. There is elevator access to all floors, including the lower level with two conference rooms available for meetings and family and friend reunions. Two portable hearing-impaired devices also are available to guests.
Every stay at the lodge includes unlimited access to the hot springs pool from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and made-to-order hot breakfast served at the poolside Grill.
It’s an easy walk from Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge to downtown over the pedestrian bridge, which has an elevator to reach the ground level for exploring a wide range of shops and restaurants.
In addition, the paved Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path, with a trailhead just down the street from Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, is a disabled-friendly path for walking, biking and other outdoor endeavors. The Accessible Adventures family enjoyed biking the 16-mile trail using an e-bike rented through Glenwood Adventure to pull Robbie’s trailer. Glenwood Adventures also can take outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities on rafting trips.
The Accessible Adventures crew also rode the gondola to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park to have lunch at The Lookout Grille and experience the various attractions.
For indoor options, head to Glenwood Springs Community Center, a modern 65,000-square-foot facility that features a gymnasium, climbing wall, ice rink and more. The center has adaptive climbing gear, and if you live near Glenwood Springs or are going to be around for a while, there are adaptive climbing classes and therapeutic recreation swimming classes. Talk to the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist on staff about the various options and adaptive equipment available.
This is just a sampling of accessible vacation options in Glenwood Springs, Colorado!