Cave of the Winds
The highlight of our time in the Colorado Springs area was a visit to the Cave of the Winds in neighboring Manitou Springs. Here, we followed the trail deep into the heart of a mountain cave complete with stalactites and stalagmites all around. Meandering these pathways is a very unique experience, particularly for someone from Florida like myself.
We just did the "discover tour". It takes about 45 minutes and is the most popular tour. They also offer a "Lantern Tour" which I'd like to do sometime. It takes about an hour and a half and as you can imagine, the only lighting is by the lantern they give you. It costs a little more ($22), tours leave less often and small children are not allowed on this tour, you so may want to call ahead if this the tour you want to do.
Summer 9 a.m.—9 p.m.
Winter 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
An ancient Apache legend tells of a mysterious cave in this region, where the Great Spirit of the Wind lived. George and John Pickett came across this cave in the late 1800s. Word soon spread, and it's been a major tourist attraction ever since.
There are two tours: The 45-minute Discovery Tour, and the much longer Lantern Tour. I took the former, which is an easy walk at a slow pace. The guides are very knowledgeable, and the cave is beautiful. Please do NOT touch the rock formations; the oils on your skin will stop them from growing (and there's a $2,500 fine).
I almost put this in the "tourist trap" category because of the way that it is set up. Note the wedding chamber when you tour this place. With that said, there are some nice rock formations inside the cave. The caverns are in the foothills outside the city towards Manitou Springs.
The Cave of the Winds is a fun experience for a family activity. A guide will take you through one of three caverns systems and explain their formations and history. Bring a camera! There is a laser and stereo show every evening at 9 pm. during the summer months.