Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Manitou Springs Travel Blog

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Cliff Dwellings

Our work was finished and we were leaving the next day, so we decided to squeeze one more thing in.  I didn't really want to go to the Cliff Dwellings, because how can Colorado have cliff dwellings?  It was $8.50, but I found us $1 off coupons.  It ended up being really neat.  I'm not big into Native American history or anything, but this site was cool.  It is like the cliff dwellers in the southwest, only on a much smaller scale. 

There was a storm coming in - we could see great lightning on the drive in.  The souvineer stands were closing up shop quickly - and chasing their goods that were blowing away.  But we got out and decided it was perfectly fine to be standing outside next to some tall rocks at an elevation above most of the city during a lightning storm.

Museum and gift shop
  The cliff dwellings are mostly the original construction from 700 years ago, but some places have been reconstructed.  You could walk through all the rooms and climb thorugh windows and doors if you wanted to.  Little plaques explained the function of each room.  Most rooms had windows that opened to the outside and some had partial walls that opened out.  All of the buildings were made of red sandstone bricks and the homes were built under the overhanging sandstone cliffs.  I would love to live in a stone house and have a great view of the mountains and be able to feel the rain blowing in on your face. 

We played around a bit, and then the storm hit.  People were scrambling to get out of the rain and most left.

Storm in the valley
  We ran into the museum.  They had a video that showed how to make the pottery and many artifacts including pottery and clothing made from Yucca.  Yucca is that spiky plant that pokes your legs when you walk by.   I became quite familiar with that plant over the last two weeks. 

While we looked in the museum, we could hear the thunder crashing outside.  It was so loud!  We got sort of trapped in the gift shop.  The lower museum opened into the gift shop, but we knew there was an upper gift shop/museum.  We couldn't figure out how to get to the rest of the museum with out going outside in the rain.  So we ran outside, ran up the steps and ran back inside.  Once again we found ourselves through the museum and into the upper level of the gift shop.

Raining!
  Once again we couldn't figure out how to get to the lower part of the museum.  So we gave up and sat on the balcony and watched the rain.  It was nice being in an area where it is warm enough to stay outside during a rainstorm. 

After awhile we got bored, so we ran outside back to the cliff dwellings.  It was almost completely deserted.  We were able to crawl all over if we wanted.  I went into a little room through what looks like a window but was actually a door.  The lower ledge was a good two feet above the floor and the doorway maybe 3 feet high and 2 feet wide.  It was so small!  So I got in and hung out the window for a while, watching the rain.  I turned to leave and discovered I was blocked in!  Someone was changing their baby's diaper on the doorway ledge that I would have to crawl back through to get out!  Gross! 

Well, I made it out and proceeded to walk through everything once more (since we paid for it).  After that, we left and decided to drive around the area. 

 

bkretzer says:
We haven't been down to Colorado Springs in years. I remember the first time we went to the dwellings (in nearby Manitou Sprngs) and was surprised to find something straight our of Mesa Verde in an urban setting. They used to have Indians that put on a native dance performance and you could take pictures of them. I'll have to find them now to post!
Posted on: Apr 06, 2008
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Cliff Dwellings
Cliff Dwellings
Museum and gift shop
Museum and gift shop
Storm in the valley
Storm in the valley
Raining!
Raining!
windows
windows
Looking over the wall
Looking over the wall
on the balcony
on the balcony
little kid going down ladder
little kid going down ladder
stone wall
stone wall
empty parking lot
empty parking lot
yucca sandals and pottery from 120…
yucca sandals and pottery from 12…
me in the window
me in the window
nice backyard
nice backyard
climbing through doors and windows
climbing through doors and windows
empty cliff dwellings
empty cliff dwellings
cool sandstone
cool sandstone
Manitou Springs Sights & Attractions review
Side trip on the way to/from Pike's Peak
Located in the next town over from Colorado Spring, the manitou cliff dwellings are sandstone brick homes built underneath a red sandstone overhang. … read entire review
Manitou Springs
photo by: ejames01