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Accessible Sites
Accessible Sites on Berthoud Pass Auto Tour 

There are only a few accessible sites for outdoor recreation opportunities along the Auto Tour.  The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) just outside of Winter Park has a trail which is excellent. (see below)  Partners for Access to the Woods (PAW) finished an interpretative trail with a parking lot and “gathering area” outside of Empire in 2013 and it now belongs to the Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District.  The theme of the exhibits is based on the history Berthoud Pass.  The exhibits are designed to include persons with visual and mobility impairments as well as school children and the general public. The trail is about 500 feet long with half of the trail having a running grade of 5% or less, while the remaining trail is steep with grades up to 21% which represent the grades of the wagon road as it crossed Bethoud Pass and into Grand County.

For information about the trail go to PAW’s website at or Dane Matthew, District Director of Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District at 303-567-4822.

There are no accessible recreation sites on the U. S. Forest Service lands along the Auto Tour.  There are two Forest Service campgrounds (Mizpah and Robber’s Roost) along the Auto Tour but none of the facilities are accessible. There are two picnic areas.  The Clear Creek Picnic Area does not have any accessible facilities.  The picnic area at Big Bend now has an accessible restroom which was provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation during the widening project of Berthoud Pass. There is only one accessible route to the toilet and that is from the first parking area off from U. S. Highway 40. Neither the picnic areas nor the overlook is accessible.

Easter Seals’ Rocky Mountain Village is located at Empire Junction. Their  camp provides summer programs for children and adults with disabilities, lodging to the public, and also respites camps during the winter months. For more information, contact 303-569-2333 Ext O.


Important Note: The information for this page was collected on June 18, 2012.  As in all outdoor recreation sites, conditions change because of weather, use, or unknown events.  It is the responsibility of the user to check conditions before visiting or using the site.
Phone numbers have been provided for this purpose.


The NSCD Trail is found within MP 232-233 Pages 4 & 5. (NSCD: 970-726-1540)

The PERT (PAW's Educational Research Trail) is located just west of Empire and is found within MP 255-256.



In the Town of Empire
(Phone: 303-569-2978)

The Town of Empire has an accessible restroom in the park next to the Hard Rock Café. In order to use the accessible route, it is necessary to drive down South Main, one block and turn east and drive through the ally to the town parking area.

On U. S. Highway 40 through the Town of Empire, it is difficult to find a place to park in order to transfer from the car to the chair.  Jenny’s Restaurant has accessible restrooms and a designated parking space, but it does have a cross-slope.  See photo on the left.

The business owners for East Park Avenue Antiques and the Hard Rock Café understand the safety issues involved in transferring from a car to a chair and back again. They are offering the use of the flat area in front of the Laundromat just to the east of the Hard Rock Café.  If a person with a disability needs a restroom and is not able to use the Town restrooms, the Hard Rock will allow use of theirs.  It is asked that those who can access the Town restrooms do so. It is important to note that this space is being donated for only those who need a safe place to transfer from their car to their chair and back again.   


Restrooms outside of the Town of Empire
(United States Forest Service: 303-567-3029)


The Restroom at Big Bend Picnic area is found within MP 248 – 249. See the photo on the left for
the access route.


The U. S. Forest Service has provided an accessible restroom at the Summit of Berthoud Pass or MP 243.  Parking areas have not been striped, so there is not an accessible parking space designated for the restrooms.