I had so much fun in Manitou Springs at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park doing all kinds of activities. A lot of people just come for the cave or only know about the cave, but there’s so much to do when visiting. There are various rides, a ropes course and rock wall, and the different cave tours where you learn a lot about the different aspects of the cave. Inside the cave tour building there’s also food and a gift shop.
The nice thing was that we bought the wristbands so we could do the rides and course as many times as we wanted. We spent so much time here doing all the activities, but it did get cut short when it began to rain like crazy along with insane winds. Luckily since it’s a cave tour, you don’t notice the rain!
Different Cave Tours
We did the Discovery Cave Tour but there are two others you can choose from. The Discovery tour is perfect for families because it’s lit up, has concrete walkways, is only 1/2 a mile and 196 stairs to climb in total. On the tour you learn about the history of the cave, the geology behind it, and other facts. There’s also the Lantern Tour that’s a little longer, has the original floors and uneven ground, you hear ghost stories, and the only light in the cave is the lantern you carry. Another tour is the Caving 101 tour where you climb around and crawl in the cave mud and it’s much longer than the others.
My family and I have been to A LOT of caves, but none of them have been like this one. The formations and air pockets were very unique and was interesting to have seen.
The Science of How it Was Formed
Roughly 500 million years ago Colorado was covered in warm shallow ocean. Broken shells from the dead sea creatures sank to the bottom and over time compressed together to form solid rock called limestone. Eventually about 70 million years ago, the ocean began to recede forming the Rockies.
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 slowly ate away at 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 grew into caverns, and the caves were slowly formed.
Later the water level kept dropping, leaving air in all the cave pockets. Stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone or cave bacon, and other formations began to form and grow into the cave you can tour today.
Rides, Climbs, and Fun
After or before your cave tour, there’s an abundance of fun things to do outside including rides, a ropes course and rock wall, and a climbing net with a slide. We bought the all inclusive wrist bands or you can buy individual tickets.
Wind Walker Challenge Course
The Wind Walker Challenge course is a super fun ropes course that was a lot different than Tahoe Treetop Adventure courses Carter and I had done. On this course, you get to choose what bridges and obstacles you do. There are different “rails” you guide your pulley on to get to the sections you want to do. You can even go backwards and forwards! The neat thing was that part of the course goes OVER the canyon below.
When we were looking at the list of activities and Geronimo’s Leap just sounded terrifying because I hate drops (like I will never to Tower of Terror again). It’s actually not a thing where they drop you! It’s super fun and one my favorite things. Basically it’s a bunch of Mario looking tubes that get taller and taller as you figure out how to climb or hop to the top. Then once you reach the top, you get to leap off and it’s about the speed of repelling on a rock wall. We did it plenty of times and it was awesome!
Cliff Hanger Climbing Wall
The Cliff Hanger Climbing Wall was the first thing we did and it was awesome! It’s two clear double sided rock walls and there’s a couple challenges you can do against your other family members or friends. I love rock climbing and doing these walls with a canyon view was so much fun and I had a blast doing it with my brother.
Bat-A-Pult Zip Line
The Bat-A-Pult Zip Line was interesting and very different than your normal zip line. First off it’a a zip line where you sit down in a double chair with a partner (if you want). Second the speed it fixed and is not based on weight because it’s controlled by a machine. Third once you go across, it takes you backwards for a 12,000 foot round trip! That was nice because my mom and I didn’t have to walk all the way back.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park in Manitou Springs was so much fun and I am beyond happy we stopped here to check out all it has to offer visitors!