While most cities offer ADA compliant attractions and accommodations — which Greater Phoenix certainly does — there’s a whole lot more to accessibility in this city.
Greater Phoenix is home to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor attractions that are accessible and/or can accommodate accessibility specifics. Whether your plan is to check out the Sonoran Desert via barrier-free trails or explore top attractions, we have all the information you'll need right here.
See how Phoenix ranked with Passion Passport in "Always Accessible: Phoenix From A Wheelchair User's Perspective" from September 2021.
If rave reviews — and photos — of Greater Phoenix's iconic hiking trails have piqued your interest, you've come to the right place. This area is home to countless accessible mountain trails, nature walks and urban paths. Check out our top recommendations for barrier-free hiking as you start planning.
You're invited to find out why the Musical Instrument Museum is rated Phoenix's No. 1 attraction and ranked among the top 15 museums in the United States. Home to more than 1,500 instruments from across the globe, this immersive experience offers touch-free headphones for self-guided tours exploring the "language of the soul."
The Desert Botanical Garden, a 140-acre venue that showcases more than 50,000 plant displays via five thematic trails (paved and hard-packed), also plays host to rotating art installations, cultural festivities and seasonal events.
The Japanese Friendship Garden, an authentic 3.5-acre tranquil setting in the heart of downtown, features paved paths that wander past flowing streams, a 12-foot waterfall, koi pond, tea garden and tea house. Additionally, the garden's parking, restrooms and facilities are wheelchair and motorized scooter accessible.
Stay tuned for the return of Artlink's First Fridays Art Walk, downtown Phoenix's monthly self-guided art event that closes down streets to traffic in favor of more space for navigating galleries, venues, art-related spaces, vendors and a variety of artwork — including the area's murals and pop-up installations.
Taliesin West, the UNESCO World Heritage site that served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home in Scottsdale, recently completed ADA upgrades to make the historic property more accessible than ever before.
“Some of the work that has been done is not required by the ADA since this is a historic site, however the foundation has gone above and beyond," said Emily Butler, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's director of preservation. Additionally, a new self-guided “Guided by Wright” tour has been added, allowing guests to safely access Arizona’s only cultural UNESCO World Heritage site with a new interactive and self-paced audio experience.
Valley Metro Rail is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get around Greater Phoenix. A one-day pass costs $4 and a seven-day pass is just $20. The 28-mile system connects 38 stations in Phoenix and the neighboring communities of Mesa and Tempe, with route expansions underway. Air-conditioned trains operate about 18 hours a day and arrive every 15 to 20 minutes. Popular stops include Chase Field, Footprint Arena — home of the Suns, Mercury and Rattlers, Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, Ability360, downtown Tempe and downtown Mesa.
To plan your ride, you can use NextRide. Each rail station has a unique five-digit stop number; signs are located near the entryway of stations and are also on station maps in the kiosks. To get arrival times, call 602-253-5000, say "NextRide" and say or enter the rail station number. You can also text 22966 and enter the stop number; you'll be texted with the next arrival times for your stop.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Thanks to the guidance provided by the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities, "America's Friendliest Airport" is one of the most-accessible in the world for those with physical and hidden disabilities. All terminals have: curb cuts, automatic doors, elevators, ramped access to all lobbies and gate areas, designated areas on inner curbs for vehicles with disability plates to load or unload, and wheelchair accessible telephones, automatic teller machines, accessible/family restrooms with caregiver access and drinking fountains. More recent additions include a sensory room in Terminal 4 (pre-security, near the B checkpoint ) and its new blind or low-vision service program via the Aira app, which is available for free in the Apple App and Google Play stores. For additional information on accessibility at Sky Harbor, click here.
PHX Sky Train
This free, automated train takes travelers between the Valley Metro Rail station nearest the airport (at 44th and Washington streets) to Sky Harbor Terminals 3 and 4. Trains operate 24 hours a day and arrive and depart every 3 to 5 minutes. An expansion of the train from the airport to the Rental Car Center is slated to be completed in 2022, extending the line 2.5 miles.
Seniors and those with disabilities can access Dial-A-Ride daily from 4 a.m. to 12 a.m. by calling 602-253-4000 for reservations, or scheduling online at dar.phoenix.gov. For details on eligibility, contact Valley Metro's Mobility Center at 602-716-2100.
Not only does the Valley Metro Rail provide low-cost, barrier-free transportation within the city, you’ll also find resources for adaptive recreation in the Sonoran Desert here, too.
Telephone Pioneers Park, managed by The Parks and Recreation Department, was the first barrier-free park in the nation. Located at 1946 W. Morningside Drive, in Phoenix, this adaptive recreation park was built through community donations under the leadership of the volunteer organization, Telephone Pioneers of America.
Additionally, Arizona Disabled Sports (AzDS) offers adaptive opportunities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Check back for additional information on adaptive recreation outfitters in Phoenix.
For indoor recreation, however, Phoenix is home to Ability360 — a one-of-a-kind facility that you might just have to experience for yourself to believe. Don’t take our word for it, see what YouTuber’s Cole & Charisma had to say about their recent visit.
The center offers adaptive gym equipment, and ultra-accessibly pool for lap swimming, a rock-climbing wall that can host just about anyone, a collection of sport- and activity-specific wheelchairs, and various programming that takes members and visitors out into the Sonoran Desert for adaptive exploration. You’ll also find a cast of Paralympic athletes, both past and present, frequenting this facility.