Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado Springs
Less well-known than the famed cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings are still fascinating. Built over 700 years ago, they are about the same age as many European castles and cathedrals. They illustrate life among the Anasazi Indians (the ancient ones). See how they lived. There is also a small cafe and gift shop.
Here is another one of Colorado's picturesque little towns, just outside Colorado Springs. A very attractive town, it is known for its underground springs. Several are located in the heart of town, and available to the public. And that water is GOOD!
The town has a number of attractions which I didn't have time to see (visit the website below). Downtown has plenty of shopping, restaurants, and places to hang out.
If you don't want to drive as far as Mesa Verde, Manatou Springs offers a friendly and easily accessed experience. Built during the Pueblo Period, the site offers insite into the Southwestern Indians who lived in the area 700 years ago. Visitors can walk through the cliff dwellings, visit a small museum, and even enjoy Indian dances performed daily in the summer.
Admission: $8.00 per person.
This is an example of Anasazi cliff dwellings, roughly 700 years old. You can find them at Pikes Peak. The red stone that these houses were dug over have a warm look and feel about them and you can go anywhere you want inside if you can squeeze through the small doorways higher up. It's easy to walk around the bottom part and imagine you are an indian living there. There are lots of things to look at, where they ground the corn, a small painting on the wall.
I quite liked the dancing done by the local Indians. There was a hoop dance which looked very complicated and athletic and also a short history given on each dance. The costumes were eye wateringly bright, in day-glo colours but did not detract too much from the grace and skill of the dancers.
Entry fee to the dwellings was $9.98 incl tax.
There is a fantastic gift shop with all things Indian and other things you just HAVE to have. I spent about an hour in there just looking.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings is authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings, built more than 700 years ago. There are no "Do Not Touch" signs. You are free to touch and even go inside these ruins of architectural remnants of an American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pikes Peak. The dwellings are open seven days a week, year round, except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
During the summer months,descendants of the Native Americans show how their living culture through traditional dances handed down from generation to generation.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings are Anazazi Indian ruins (1100-1300 A.D.) You can wander through ceremonial kivas, the balcony house and other pueblos at your own pace. The settings are fantastic. Don't miss the museum while you're there, too.
If you plan to visit Mesa Verde National Park or other ancient Pueblo sites, skip this one. The cliff dwellings are real, however, they were relocated from a site in southwestern Colorado. Even though they aren't original to this site, it was still very interesting to visit them. They have an interesting museum/store for you to wonder through.
It cost $8.50 a person to get in. Go to http://www.pikes-peak.com/ASP/coupons.asp to see if any coupon is available during your visit. I was able to get $1.00 off admission for both my husband and me. Every little bit helps when you are on a budget.
This was one of those things that I really didn't expect that much from and it ended up being the most fun the kids had in the Col. Springs area. This place is really cool. Not the average here are some ruins take some pictures and leave. Oh no, you can actually go inside the old Anasazi Cliff dwellings. And what cool ruins they are. The cliff dwellings are preserved under a redstone overhang built more than 700 years ago.
There is also a small museum here,gift shop, and picnic benches.
Beautiful surroundings and fun for the whole family!
The Manitou Cliff dwellings are considered one of Colorado Springs' more important attractions. Since they are located in Manitou Springs, Colorado, I have placed my photos (including two travelogues) and commentary on the Manitou Springs page.
In addition to visiting the restored ruins of the cliff dwellling, you may visit an informative museum of Indian lore and crafts, watch native dancers in action, and spend your money at the gift shop.