Trip Planner : USA / Colorado / El Paso County / Manitou Springs / Historic Sites / Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Manitou Springs
Categories: Ruins, Museums, Tourist Spots
Learn about the ancient Anasazi people with a visit to Manitou Cliff Dwellings, where you can experience the lives of these cliff dwellers in a hands-on environment. The Anasazi lived southwest of this spot, but the reconstructed cliff dwellings were built from pieces of the original dwellings found at a collapsed Anasazi site. The materials were transported piece by piece and placed together to closely resemble the original site. Because this is a reconstruction, you are invited to touch, feel, and climb on the dwellings. Notes posted throughout provide information on the Anasazi people and how they lived, but the reason why they left remains unknown today. The museum and gift shop offer further information on the history of this group. To visit Manitou Cliff Dwellings and get the most from your holiday in Manitou Springs, create itinerary details personal to you using our Manitou Springs trip itinerary planner.
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This gives you insite into history. Take the time to walk through the rooms, read about how they lived and why they built these dwellings. You will not be disappointed.
Crowded when i went, and kind of small. Would say 1 visit suffices, and you kind of feel a lot of scenic repetition. If you're not native, has a bit more to offer. Locals though would be bored.
Toured the cave dwellings of Manitou Springs in early October. Loved seeing the dwellings in their original splendor. I visited during the morning on a weekday in October so it wasn't too busy there.
The Cliff Dwellings were pretty cool and there is a lot of Native American history behind the dwellings. You can walk through the dwellings and follow along with the free audio tour if you have access to data through your mobile devices. Otherwise, you can also just read the descriptions from point to point. On the way through the museum itself are other artifacts and more historical information associated with the items. I did think it was weird that as you make your way through the museum, you end up in a souvenir shop, then another part of the museum, then shop, then museum. Perhaps this is a way to entice the visitors to make purchases while going through the museums. At the exit of the museum at the top of the incline is a replica of a Tepee that was used by the natives. Outside of that is a small cafe and t-shirt stand. A visit to the museum is relatively inexpensive, but definitely worth the visit when you're in the area.
Very nice reconstruction of Native American dwellings. If you are looking for actual dwellings, go to Bandelier National Monument, in New Mexico. Or several other places. Manitou Cliff Dwellings is very informative with the reconstruction & the museum is really first rate. We also enjoyed the gift shop, we will return when the wolves are there! It is not expensive at all, $9.50 per adult & a discount for using a credit card.
Terrific experience for children, but otherwise quite expensive ($10 ea.) for as small as the actual exhibit disappointingly is. The museum is much more extensive by comparison to the actual place in the cliff. It's maintained quite well and clean with nice native exhibits representing the way locals used to innovatively live with what was available. Extremely touristy and can be crowded. Don't expect much of an authentic feel, as the majority of exhibits are recreations with suspected liberties taken. Without young children, it's sadly just not very appealing at all. Most discouraging is the serious lack of native Indians, particularly since this whole experience capitalizes on what their ancestors established before the capitalizing entrepreneurs took liberties to compile a smart tourist attraction over a century ago.
Quant and a good initial introduction to the pueblo peoples and their architecture, even though the site is no longer owned/operated by the first peoples. It is no Mesa Verde nor Chaco Canyon, but it is close to Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. So good for tourists and locals alike.
I have passed this place a few times from Hwy 24 and it captured my curiosity. I finally visited. It is, quite-frankly, a waste of time. Manitou Springs has a lot to offer and unless you've done it all I would put this on the bottom of your list. It's small, expensive, and the knowledge you gain could be gleaned from a book or website. The structures are cool, but they're not that cool.
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