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Snowbird   |  Austen Diamond

ACCESSIBLE UTAH

Utah is known for its recreation opportunities, from hiking in five national parks to skiing The Greatest Snow on Earth® to white-water rafting down the mighty Colorado River. But did you know all of these attractions and activities are accessible to people of all ability levels? Having fun in Utah is no problem, no matter your ability level.

resources & organizations

A view of downtown Salt Lake City.

Photo: Jay Dash

Arriving in Utah

  • Salt Lake City International Airport is 10 minutes from downtown and offers a guide for travelers with disabilities. 
  • Wheelchair Getaways in Salt Lake City, can meet you at the airport with a fully-accessible, ramp-equipped rental van.
  • United Access and Compassion Mobility offer a fleet of wheelchair accessible van rentals for daily, weekly or long-term needs. The most common wheelchair van rental includes a lowered floor minivan with an automatic fold-out ramp providing convenience for a ride to that special family occasion, medical appointment, sporting event or vacation outing. Compassion Mobility also offers mobility scooter and power wheelchair rentals. 
  • Thrifty Car Rental at Salt Lake City International Airport offers accessible minivans that include wheelchair ramps with dropdown service for ground-level access, hand controls and removable seats to accommodate wheelchairs. For more information or to book your minivan visit thrifty.com or call 877-283-0898.

Resources

The following Utah organizations work together to advocate specialized recreation plans through the use of adaptive equipment, trained staff and scholarships. Utah's adaptive adventures and recreation opportunities create lasting, life-enhancing experiences by connecting people, nature, volunteers, teachers and the community.

National Parks, State Parks and Public Lands

Utah is home to amazing parks and outdoors, most of which are easily accessible to those with disabilities. To make planning your park and recreation area adventures easier, take a look at the following websites for a complete list of trails, activities and facilities to add to your vacation itinerary. 

US Bureau of Land Management or call 801-539-4225

Adaptive Recreation Programs

Adventure Vet, Moab

This nonprofit offers outdoor adventure programs for wounded and amputee combat veterans.  Activities include motorcycle, ATV and rafting adventures, vocational training and additional life-saving holistic wellness programs. Their mission is driven by their desire to help veterans through outreach, action, activities and education. More information at adventurevet.org.

Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, Logan

This agency aims to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. Common Ground provides adaptive equipment and support, enabling those with disabilities to participate in outdoor adventures alongside their peers. Programs are year-round and varied, but Common Ground is best known for destination and vacation trips to Utah's state and national parks. Activities include fishing, hiking, climbing, hand-cycling, destination trips, dog sledding, canoeing, skiing, yurt trips, camping and river rafting. Be sure to ask about the scholarship program. More information at cgadventures.org or call 435-713-0288.

Courage Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Highland

The mission of this program is to improve the quality of life for people with physical, mental or emotional challenges through therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-based activities. The Utah County center provides a safe and challenging setting for physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth. Staff physical, behavioral and occupational therapists are trained in equine-assisted psychotherapy, natural horsemanship and therapeutic riding. More information at couragereins.org or call 801-756-8900.

Kostopulos Dream Foundation, Salt Lake City

Camp K offers recreation programs for people of all ages and ability levels. Campers can stay for a week and enjoy activities such as horseback riding, arts and crafts, canoeing, camping, rope courses and fishing. Camp K also offers week-long road trips, part of their Travel Trip Adventures programs, where participants take part in hiking, camping, river rafting and wildlife viewing at places such as Bryce Canyon, Moab, Yellowstone and other regional adventure destinations. The Kostopulos Dream Foundation is located on 25 acres of woods, mountains, lakes, and streams in Salt Lake City’s Emigration Canyon. Scholarship opportunities are available. More information at campk.org or call 801-582-0700.

National Ability Center, Park City

This adaptive-recreation provider promotes the concept of ability through integration, public awareness and education from its 26-acre ranch outside of Park City. Last year, 37,000 total lessons and outings were provided for more than 7,200 people of all abilities. Activities include equestrian, paddle sports, water sports, cycling, mountain biking, winter fat biking, alpine skiing, snowboarding, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, canoeing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, aquatics, camps, challenge course, competition programs, ability awareness and custom group activities. NAC also organizes day and overnight adaptive rafting trips on the Colorado and Green Rivers in Southern Utah. Scholarship opportunities are available. More information at discovernac.org or call 435-649-3991.

Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation Adaptive Program

The county recreation program aims to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities by facilitating equal access, regardless of age or ability. Programs are year-round and numerous, ranging from sports to social activities. The program is regularly adding new activities, such as sled hockey, adaptive baseball and Special Olympics competitions. More information at slco.org/adaptive or call 801-559-1500.

TRAILS (Therapeutic Recreation And Independent Life Styles), Salt Lake City

This comprehensive outreach program of the University of Utah Health’s Rehabilitation Center helps individuals with spinal cord injuries or disease. Programs include recreation activities such as indoor spinning, hand cycling, kayaking, sailing, target shooting, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, swimming, and wheelchair tennis. The program also features educational opportunities, such as the 6-week Spinal Cord Injury Forum. Wellness programs include exercise/conditioning, weight management, nutritional consultation, massage and upper extremity preservation. More at healthcare.utah.edu or call 801-581-2526.

Wasatch Adaptive Sports, Snowbird

Wasatch Adaptive Sports believes in the development of ability, as well as independence and active living through recreation. They provide entry-level through advanced instruction of winter and summer recreational pursuits for individuals with adaptive needs and their families. Annual events include the HGGC Steve Young Ski Classic. Headquarters in the winter are at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, and in the warm-weather months in Salt Lake City near the Jordan River Parkway to accommodate accessible cycling venues. More information at wasatchadaptivesports.org or call 801-834-0476.

Other Utah Guides and Outfitters

Adrift Adventures: adrift.net
Holiday River Expeditions: bikeraft.com
Hatch River Expeditions: hatchriverexpeditions.com

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