Caving Cave of the Winds. Manitou Springs, Colorado USA

Just outside the old mining town of Manitou Springs one can find many interesting geographical and geological phenomena. In many cases, amongst these findings, one can also discover true adventure. This amazing region is known as the Pikes Peak region which lay beneath a prehistoric inland sea almost 500 million years ago.

In 1000 A.D. an Apache Indian tribe named the Jicarilla lived in the Pikes Peak region. They were familiar with the "hole in the rocks" which would later be known as the Cave of the Winds, but they never entered the cave because they were superstitious. They believed that the low, moaning sound created by the wind swirling around the cave's entrance was the voice of their great Spirit who inhabited the cave, it would anger the Great Spirit and he would twist then in mind and body for disturbing his home.

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The entrance to the caves.  This canyon is full of caves.

The Ute Indians moved into the area in the 1600's.  It is believed that they used the cave for protection from storms and attacking settlers, but they never entered any farther than a few feet from the cave's entrance.

Before the civil war, early prospectors many have stumbled upon the cave, but if they did, no record was left behind.

During the late 1800's more and more people began to settle in the new resort town Manitou Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak.  It was during this time that beautiful Williams Canyon began to draw the interest of many people. 

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On our wild journey, we descend into the ground.

In the 1870's a small cave named Mammoth Cave was found in the Williams Canyon no far from Manitou Springs city limits.  A local quarryman named Tom Green sat near the entrance and charged adventures 50cents to see the cave.  During the spring of 1880 the Reverend Rosell T. Cross and a group of boys were hiking in the canyon on a church exploratory outing.  They came up to Tom Green and were informed of the cave admission fee.  Considering 50cents too much, the group set out to find their own cave.  Far up the canyon two of the boys, John and Pickett, found and old overgrown trail leading to a hole in the side of the mountain.  The boys shouted to the Reverend of their great discovery, and together the group explored the small tunnels and rooms that make up the lower level of the now famous Cave of the Winds.

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Magnificent stalactites and formations coat the cave walls.

Down in Manitou Springs, a man named George Snider heard of Pickett's cave.  Snider began poking around the same small holes and passageways the boys explored, but he went one step further - he brought a shovel.  After several days of digging, crawling, and exhausting himself searching for something new, Snider found the unexpected. "Holding my candle high... the sight was so deeply embedded in my memory it can never be effaced.  It was as though Aladdin with his wonderful lamp had affected the magic result."

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This stalactite is rare and is in pristine condition.

He had discovered many of the rooms that are explored today and that now make up the very visited, "Cave of the Winds."

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*Feature written by Phillips, Jan 2002. All information regarding cave dimensions, history and discovery was provided to us by Cave of the Winds and can be documented with Newspaper clippings from the Colorado Springs Gazette.


To this moment, in the main cave their is approximately 7,902 feet of ground to explore with other extensive caving to be done throughout the canyon. This is a great adventure to do with the guides at Cave of the Winds. For more information you can visit their web site at: or call them directly at (719) 685-5444.

©2013 Globetrotter Adventures
Globetrotter Adventures
Carbondale, CO 81623