quote: "I soon realized that no jouney carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within. "Lillian Smith

NCAR Visitor Center Hours

Weekdays: 8 - 5 pm
Weekends: 9 - 4 pm
Holidays:   9 - 4 pm

Annual Closure Day

Check here for annual closure date in April and October


Admittance is free.

Cafeteria Hours

Weekdays, except holidays:
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.


General: 303.497.1000
Scheduling: 303.497.1174
Front-door access requests:  303.497.1139

Downloadable Information:

Parking Map (PDF)
Facility Map of Public Areas (PDF)


access icons wheelchair hearing telephones print closed captioned sign language braille blindness questions

Accessability at the NCAR Mesa Lab Visitor Center

The NCAR Mesa lab Visitor Center is committed to opening its doors to all people, especially those with disabilities along with their families and friends.  Our Visitors program is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment, which promotes learning and enjoyment for visitors with diverse interests, abilities, and needs.

Wheelchairs and Mobility Impairments

NCAR's Mesa Lab Visitor Center offers two entrances for those with mobility impairments and their escorts or companions.

Front driveway acces: By calling NCAR (303.497.1139) in advance of a visit, access may be requested via the main entrance. We recommend the front entrance when individuals and/or groups are transported by a driver who can, with permission from security, drop passengers off, then proceed to park in the parking area. No parking is allowed or available in the front driveway and entrance area. 

Handicapped entrance: The second option is to park in the handicapped parking area at the back (south side) of the building directly next to our delivery dock. Please buzz the intercom next to the inside door and our security staff will facilitate your entrance.  (Please feel free to ask via the intercom for a staff escort to meet you at this entrance if desired.) All doors in this area will open automatically upon pressing the wheelchair icon. Once inside, follow the green dots to the elevator.  Enter the elevator, press G for Ground Level, and it will transport you to the first floor of our Visitor Center.  Please proceed to the front desk where you will be asked to sign in.

All exhibits and public areas are accessible by elevator, including a small lift that provides access to the NCAR Tree Plaza where students often eat lunch during warmer months. All theaters include wheelchair locations and companion seats. The NCAR cafeteria is also accessible to all with no steps or turnstiles. A wheelchair accessible restroom is available on the second floor in the Climate Future exhibit area.  Wheelchairs are also available to visitors once inside the building at the Front desk reception area. 

Hearing Impairments

Written scripts of the Guide-by-Cell phone tour are available in print and in Spanish.  Videos shown in the NCAR theater are open captioned.


TTY is available for incoming calls at the pay phone directly across from the NCAR Front Desk.

Large Print

Large print transcripts of the NCAR Guide-by-Cell phone tour are available near the entrance to the Visitor Center.

Opened Captioning

Opened captioning is available in the NCAR mini-theater where visitors are invited to watch and/or listen to a 10-minute movie called Air Planet People. This video highlights the history of UCAR and NCAR, as well as their combined mission, programs, services, and research.  Other videos are offered in the theater that change on a biannual or annual basis. Currently, the video is NASA's Warming World, which highlights climate change and the University of Colorado's Colorado Forests and the Pine Bark Beetle Epidemic informational video.

Signing Services

NCAR does not have full-time signing personnel, however, we will make every effort to meet your needs if we are given adequate lead time prior to your visit (ideally one week in advance). Please contact our scheduling staff to request signing services. Please specify American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English.


Elevators in NCAR's Mesa Lab Visitor Center are equipped with Braille signage, however, they do not give auditory signals.  We also are currently working on offering a transcript of NCAR's audio tour in Braille, hopefully by 2010.

Blind or Partially Sighted

Many of the exhibits at NCAR are touchable and tactile. In addition, Visitor Center staff have artifacts that can also be handled to bring the atmospheric sciences to life for the blind, partially sighted, and sighted. Please inquire at the Mesa Lab Visitor Center front desk if you are interested in this service.


Mesa Lab Visitor Center staff are available at NCAR seven days a week to assist you and to answer any of your questions. Please contact us by calling 303.497.1000, and asking for a Visitor Program staff member.