Travel Diaries: Exploring Cave of the Winds


What started out as a cave attraction in 1881 has now turned into one of Colorado’s most popular adventure attractions. Cave of the Winds is a family-friendly hot spot that has been delighting visitors for years.


Cave of the Winds has been a point of curiosity for centuries, beginning with the Jicarilla Apache Indians who believed that a great spirit resided in the cave. In 1880, the Pickett brothers discovered the cave, once this discovery was made Cave of the Winds was excavated and made structurally sound for visitors. In February 1881, the cave was opened to the public and has been operating as a tourist attraction ever since.

If you’re into tight and dark spaces, then Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs is the perfect place for you! This cave gets its name from the cool breeze that emanates from the entrance. Cave of the Winds is home to over 20 massive and lighted rooms. The spaces feature limestone, stalagmites, cave bacon, and other amazing rock features. Cave of the Winds offers two types of tours for its visitors.


The Discovery Tour
The Discovery Tour is the basic walkthrough of Cave of the Winds and provides brief histories about rock formations and caves. Since I was battling an upper respiratory infection while I was visiting Cave of the Winds, this is the tour I opted to do. My tour guide was amazing, informative and lots of fun. At one point in this tour, you will experience total darkness for about one minute, which was a really neat experience.


The Lantern Tour 
The Lantern Tour at Cave of the Winds is not designed for younger children or anyone with mobility issues This tour takes you through the undeveloped sections of the caverns with only a lantern for light. At one point, you experience total darkness for about one minute. The caverns are considered to be haunted and feature tons of uneven surfaces, low ceiling heights, and tight spaces.


Caving 101
Begin an exciting cave trek and explore the undeveloped depths of the Manitou Grand Caverns. This 2.5 hours guided tour involves climbing, crawling and walking through wet and muddy passages of various sizes. During the tour, you will climb, crawl and or walk for nearly a mile while you learn basic spelunking skills as well as the history and geology of the cave.

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