Manitou Cliff Dwellings
To see the more historic side of Manitou Springs head to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the highly visited Anasazi ruined cliff dwellings just west of Colorado Springs. These red rocked wonders were relocated to this spot between 1904 and 1907, a painstakingly slow process beginning in the southwestern corner of Colorado, McElmo Canyon. The dwellings were moved here in order to ‘preserve and protect the fine stonework architecture of southwestern Indians,’ and thankfully for us, it worked.
This proud Pike’s Peak Country attraction dates back to 1200, the 40 different rooms throughout being utilized by the ancient Colorado Anasazi tribe. The ruins themselves mixed with the onsite museum spots give great insight into the daily life, tools, and weapons used, and pottery and jewelry utilized during that time. It is always a fun and educational adventure to walk the path between the Pueblo structure and the museums, the path lined with native flowers, herbs, and trees clearly labeled for your viewing pleasure. Once you get to the museum you can learn all about the tribe and their day to day rituals, with several different cultural displays throughout. There are interactive exhibits and informational videos, as well as guided and self-guided tour options for students and groups.
Before you go be sure to check out the view from the dwellings overlooking the springs, a truly amazing sight. Also be sure to head over to the extensive souvenir shop to browse pottery, artifacts, and Native American jewelry.