Utah maybe known as the Beehive state but there is much more to this western state than one might expect. From the snow-covered peaks to the expansive red rock desert canyons, there is something for everyone here. If you find yourself using a mobility aide such as a scooter or wheelchair, don’t let that stop you from taking your family on an adventure.
Here are our top 5 mobility-friendly activities and places to visit in Utah.
- Camping and Hiking in Zion National Park
Home to some of the most iconic red rock vistas in the state, Zion Nation Park features an impressive canyon and spectacular rock arches. Within the park there are several campsites a couple trails that are accessible to those using a wheelchair or a scooter. The Pa’rus trail is paved, 3.5 miles and follows the virgin river from the South Campground to Canyon Junction. A shorter paved trail is the Riverside Walk. At 2.2 miles this trail follows the Virgin River along the bottom of a narrow canyon and features trailside exhibits. The park also offers shuttles and busses.
- Make New Friends at Hogle Zoo
With over 800 animals across 249 different species, everyone is bound to find a “favorite”. Spread across 42- acres, the Hogle Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as one of the top zoos in the world. The majority of the zoo is accessible by wheelchair or scooter including the show pavilions, though some of the paths are steeper and may require some assistance. The website noted, “Zoofari Express and Conservation Carousel have ramps upon request and may require a transfer from the wheelchair to the seat of the attraction.”
- Expand Your World at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center
If you want to escape the heat and transport yourself to a different time and place, take the family to the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. Your family can choose from 6 different space mission simulators and see how well you work as a team (call or age restrictions and reservations). Or relax and take in one of the numerous shows in the planetarium. For those budding astronauts, they host camps for kids as young as 7 with topics covering space, geology, zoology and physics. All the simulators and the planetarium are fully accessible to those using wheelchairs or scooters.
- There’s Much More that Fish at the Living Planet Aquarium
Not only will you find sharks, penguins, fish and everything under the sea here, but you can experience the wildlife found in South America and Southern Utah as you walk through these fully accessible exhibits. The Living Planet has it all. There is a tide pool where you can get hands on with baby sharks and stingray, playful otter will captivate you as will the clouded leopard. The website did note that the stingray encounter is 48” tall. The rest of the facility is fully accessible by wheelchair or scooter. There are a number of elevators and ramps that lead from floor to floor and connect you to exhibits. Don’t miss the chance to spend time in the 400-foot underwater tunnel. Take a minute to feel the thrill as a shark glides past you with only inches to spare and take a selfie with a happy stingray.
- Rafting the Colorado River: Fisher Towers
Around Moab, people of all abilities can access any outdoor adventure their heart desires. Through the help of the National Ability Center, those individuals with limited mobility, even paralysis, can find themselves exploring the beautiful lands that can only been seen by rafting down the Colorado River. They offer family friendly day trips but can also arrange wilder single and multi-day trips. Families that have mobility concerns can also look into camping and other outdoor activities like horseback riding through the NAC. And for those that want to wait for the snow to pack, the NAC is well prepared to accommodate most anyone’s needs for skiing! Explore the NAC website to see if they are a good fit to get your family out into all that Utah has to offer.
There are plenty of other activities around the state that are accessible to those with mobility aides. If you are interested in discovering more of amazing Utah, click here.