Cave of the Winds

Big dark, ominous spaces underground. Caves have always held a fascination by humans since…we existed.  Cave of the Winds is nothing compared to something like the largest cave in the world, but it is definitely worth the trip if you’re in Southern Colorado. If you’re in the military and/or a Colorado local you can get a nice discount on certain passes, too. Being Colorado natives is, we decided to stop by the cave on his way to the Garden of the Gods (they’re only a few minutes drive apart).

Cave of the Wind 7

Cave of the Winds was discovered by two little adventurous kids in the early 1800s. Nobody in town believed them when they said they heard an eerie windy sound coming from the mountain. Years later, Arthur B. Love decided to go check out the mysterious mountain phantom. It officially became named as a cave in 1869, horses and carriages started bringing tourists by 1881. Now it’s visited by cars and SUVs full of people seeking a mysterious cave tour. We only partook in the more family-oriented ‘Discovery Tour’ as it was the only one available upon arrival. We’ve heard the ‘Lantern Tour’ is far more adventurous, but the review  below is solely based on an experience with the ‘Discovery Tour.’

Basic Tips for Caving

  1. Bring a camera capable of taking pics in very low light (flash pics aren’t great). The tour guides will corral you through the cave like professional rodeo herders, disallowing any time to get that perfect shot for the mantelpiece anyway. Or just don’t worry about it and pay the $15 or so for the ultra-touristy pic they take for you upon entering the cave.
  2. Leave your claustrophobia at home. During my overly brief time of gazing at a particular set of glossy stalagmites and stalactites, I realized that I was deep within the bowels of the earth with the exit a good 10 min away. I was excited about it, but I could understand some people being a little uneasy.
  3. If you’re a serious caver, don’t bother with this cave. If you’re part of Colorado Grotto you can do some special tour here…but it’s always going to be a tour. This place is in the red zone on the Touristy Scale. Is it a natural wonder? Yes. Is it worth seeing once? Yeah probably. Is it a fascinating adventure into a mystical untouched cave? Definitely not. Us lazy adventurers need to stick with the real should-be wonders of the world.

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Yes, this is a really spectacular natural cave worthy of being appreciated by locals and foreigners alike. No, this is not a place for those with a palate for adventure and exploration. That day came and went back in 1869 for this dark earthy domain. Unfortunately, many of the cave structures have been removed by greedy, tourist hands (huge fine for doing it now). The stalactites that remain are still worth a look if you’re already in Colorado/Manitou Springs for other business/pleasure. We do not recommend coming to Southern Colorado for the sole purpose of seeing the Cave of the Winds.

Location

Situated at the foot of Pikes Peak, Cave of the Winds overlooks Manitou Springs and the vast Williams Canyon. From I-25 in Colorado Springs, take Exit 141. Go west on Highway 24 about 6 miles. The entrance to Cave of the Winds is on the right, just past the billboard sign. Here is the address and a map: 100 Cave of the Winds Road Manitou Springs, CO 80829