Cave of the Winds
If you have ever been curious about caves but too timid to crawl around in the dark, then maybe Cave of the Winds (Hwy. 24, 719/685-5444, www.caveofthewinds.com, summer daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m., winter daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $9–22) is just right. Guided tours of the cave are well-lit with wide walkways and handrails and visitors can clearly see stalagmites, stalactites, and limestone caverns.
The Discovery Tour takes 45 minutes and is offered daily every 30 minutes. The Lantern Tour is for the slightly more adventurous tourist spelunker and it takes twice as long with some stooping and less light. Overall it can be a fun experience for school-age children.
Cave of the Winds was “discovered” by two brothers in the late 1800s. Today it is a tourist trap—an enormous gift shop cleverly conceals the cave entrance. There is a pretty incredible view of the canyons below from the gift shop deck, which is equipped with binoculars. Cave of the Winds is about a five-minute drive from Manitou Springs.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition