Idaho’s Wheelchair Accessible Destinations and Resources
The rich history and tradition of the Gem State makes for an adventurous visit — especially Idaho’s collection of wheelchair accessible sights and events.
For a little slice of Midwestern heaven, look no further than the potato-loving state of Idaho. What most vacationers don’t realize is that Idaho is one of the premier spots for wheelchair accessible outdoors adventure in the country. But, that’s not to overlook the indoor experiences that are just as fascinating. It’s safe to say that Idaho is a little bit of everything to everyone — and, its mobility freedom makes for an even more satisfying trip.
Outdoor Wheelchair Accessible Destinations
Idaho is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. From wildlife preserves to lava-heated springs to zoos teeming with with animals, Idaho outdoor wheelchair accessible destinations level the playing field and get you where the action is. Your rifle, your rod and reel, and the freedom to enjoy it all is just waiting for you.
Idaho Fish and Game. Are you looking for a place to go fishing in Idaho? Cast your line in waters surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in America. Fly fishing in Idaho is an unforgettable experience. The state is swimming with trout, salmon, bass, and other sport fish. The state has many accessible places to choose from to enjoy a day of fishing. Visit here to view regions that have hard-finished unloading pads, pathways to accessible restrooms, boat ramps, accessible fishing platforms and, depending on the location, accessible picnic tables and shelters.
Lava Hot Springs Vacation Resort, Lava Hot Springs. The healing properties of hot springs, which contain a variety of minerals, are natural therapies to help ease aches and pains, and loosen joints and help mobility. It's hydrotherapy, and at Lava Hot Springs, you get relief in remarkable surroundings. The deck surrounding the pools have a snow-melt system so the springs are always accessible. All the Lava Hot Springs pools and restrooms at both Hot Pools and Swimming Pools are handicap accessible. There's also a handicap chair lift in the Indoor Aquatic Center's 25-yd. pool.
Tautphaus Park Zoo, Idaho Falls. Discover your wild side at the Tautphaus Park Zoo. You'll see more than 400 animals, representing 100 different species. The top attractions within the zoo are the Primate Discovery Center, the African Penguins, and the Asian Adventure. Don't pass up the Children's Zoo, where you can pet, feed, and play with the animals, and enjoy an Animal Encounters Wild Animal Show. Wheelchairs are available on site. The zoo is handicap accessible and has parking for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Indoor Wheelchair Accessible Destinations
For those visitors and vacationers who need protection from the elements, Idaho indoor wheelchair accessible destinations offer experiences in a galaxy and a prison yard — and, you don’t have to become an astronaut or a criminal to experience either. These are accessible indoor excursions through time and space you won’t soon forget.
Museum of Idaho, Idaho Falls. Check out the extraordinary exhibits and activities at the Museum of Idaho! You'll learn history and science while exploring permanent exhibits like the Eagle Rock, which houses artifacts related to the 1880s. The Race for Atomic Power tells the story of the nuclear energy era in Idaho. Other exhibits cover the human body, the Lewis and Clark expedition, dinosaurs, and insects. The museum is accessible with an elevator and ramps.
The Centennial Observatory, Twin Falls. The Centennial Observatory features one of the world's largest fully handicapped-accessible public telescopes. You can take a wheelchair accessible elevator to the observatory and observing deck under a 20-foot motorized dome. An optical "periscope" allows access to the telescope for guests using a wheelchair. The Observatory offers monthly star parties, astronomy-talk nights, and Telescope Tuesdays that take place one hour after sunset.
Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise. In 1872 the Old Idaho Penitentiary opened its doors and became home to some of the West's most atrocious criminals. You'll explore solitary confinement, cell blocks, and may even bump into a ghost or two. Most of the site is wheelchair accessible. Some ground and sidewalks may be uneven, so they recommend you have a companion. Additionally, the gallows, death row, and witness area are not accessible; however, there are photos for you to view.
Idaho Wheelchair Accessible Resources
Idaho wheelchair accessible resources on the Web are primarily focused on the sports angle — such as trout fishing and snow skiing. There are a few accessibility resources that give a more rounded picture of what’s available, which we’ve listed here for your next visit.
Resources for Individuals with Disabilities. Located at https://silc.idaho.gov/resources-for-individuals-with-disabilities/ and published by the State Independent Living Council, this is a listing of SILC resources that tourists and travelers with disabilities may find helpful.
Accessible Idaho. Located at https://idfg.idaho.gov/wildlife/accessible-idaho and published by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the department encourages everyone to experience Idaho's wild outdoors.
Visit Idaho. Located at https://visitidaho.org/ and published by the Idaho Department of Commerce Tourism Development, this is a comprehensive list of accessibility resources for visiting the state during the winter months.