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Cave of the Winds Park in Colorado Springs

Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds, located on the west side of Colorado Springs, is an historic natural landmark filled with incredible caverns and rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites. It is one of the Pikes Peak region’s primary attractions, and it is a perfect choice for family fun and adventure all seasons of the year. Make your own discovery of these millions of years old caves!

Cave of the Winds Entrance
Cave of the Winds Entrance

Cave of the Winds Discovery

The Jicarilla Apaches talked about a cave near Manitou Springs where the Great Spirit of the Wind resided. However, the first known discovery of Cave of the Winds occurred in 1869, when Arthur B. Love noticed a thin cleft in the western wall of Williams Canyon. Upon further inspection, the early settler found a large limestone archway and entrance to a cave.

In 1880, brothers George and John Pickett went exploring for new caves in the Williams Canyon area. As the two schoolboys scrambled amongst the cliffs, they found a large underground chamber unlike anything they had ever seen before.

Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds

Cave of the Winds Excavation and Opening to the Public

George Washington Snyder, a stonecutter from Ohio who came to Colorado in search of fame and fortune, excavated passages and found Canopy Hall. He continued to excavate and soon was giving guided tours. Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs has been in continuous operation since February 1881. Electricity was brought into parts of the caves on July 4, 1907, making it even easier to tour certain caves. Operations have continued at Cave of the Winds since February of 1881, making it one of Colorado’s oldest and most celebrated attractions.

Stalactites & Stalagmites
Stalactites & Stalagmites

Cave of the Winds Geology

Almost 500 million years ago, warm shallow seas covered the Pikes Peak region of Colorado and were home to an abundant shell life. As the sea creatures died, their shells dropped to the sea floor. These shells accumulated over millions of years. Numerous layers of shells eventually squeezed, compacted, and cemented together into solid rock that we now call limestone.

About 70 million years ago, the warm shallow seas started to recede and dry as the Rocky Mountains formed. Approximately 4–7 million years ago, the limestone fell below the water table. Rainwater mixed with carbon dioxide, forming a weak carbonic acid. This acid solution ate away some of the limestone, leaving behind small pockets that filled with water. As more limestone dissolved over many thousands of years, pockets grew into passageways. Passageways grew into rooms, rooms expanded into caverns, and the cave complex was slowly formed with its incredible icicle-like stalactites hanging from the roof and opposing stalagmites on the cave’s floor.

Cave of the Winds Visitor Information

100 Cave of the Winds Road| Manitou Springs, CO 80829 | 719.685.5444 |

Cave of the Winds Tour Hours & Prices

Discovery Tour

  • Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend:
    • Daily from 9 am – 9 pm. Tours leave every 15-30 minutes. Last tour leaves at 8:30 pm. Due to popularity, summer guests may experience a wait of approx. 30-45 minutes between ticket purchase and the start of an available tour.
  • Winter (September-May):
    • Daily, 10 am-5 pm. Tours leave every 30 minutes. Last tour leaves at 4:30 pm.
  • Discovery Tour Prices
    • Adults: $20
    • Children Ages 6-11: $12
    • Children 5 Years & Younger are FREE
    • Military pricing available

Lantern Tour

  • Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend:
    • Daily from 10 am – 5 pm. Tours leave on the hour. Call (719) 685-5444 for more information.
  • Winter Hours:
    • Tours available Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.
  • Lantern Tour Prices
    • Adults: $30
    • Children Ages 6-11: $15
    • Children 5 & Under are Not Permitted
    • Military pricing available

Cave of the Winds Location

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is located close to Garden of the Gods on the West side of Colorado Springs. From Highway 24, exit on Cave of the Winds Road (the stoplight to the west of the Manitou Springs exit).

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