Exploring Deep in the Earth

Kids who love to dig in the dirt will be blown away by this cave exhibition in Manitou, Colorado. Cave of the Winds allows you to enjoy mountain views before tunneling down into the earth to view stalactites and stalagmites. The cave was discovered more than 100 years ago and offers visitors a variety of tour options.

The Discovery Tour is the most popular tour of the caves and allows visitors a chance to see geological formations by walking through passageways and caverns. Along the way you will hear historical stories and proof of how the earth has evolved. This is an easy walk for visitors and a guide leads you through the 45-minute tour. The caves remain a comfortable 54 degrees, but those with heart and respiratory problems, as well as women who are pregnant, are not advised to tour. Keep in mind strollers, diaper bags, and wheelchairs are not permitted. The cost of the tour is $18 for adults and $9 for children ages 6 - 11. Kids under 5 can tour for free. The summer tour runs through the summer months and leaves every 15 - 30 minutes. The last tour leaves at 8 pm. Guests are reminded there may be a wait during the most popular touring times so be prepared to relax and explore the grounds for up to 30 minutes before exploring the caves. Winter tours run daily every 30 minutes and end at 4:30 pm.

The Cave of the Winds Lantern Tour is one of the area's most loved attractions. The tour recreates early cave exploration when there were only dim lights available to light these underground tunnels. There is an eerie feel to this tour that adventurous explorers love. Guests carry hand-held lanterns and hear frightening tales as they move through the earth. This tour is about an hour and a half long and guests are reminded there will be some stopping and shuffling required. You must wear athletic tours for safety and those with heart and respiratory problems are encouraged to avoid the tour. Children under five years of age are not permitted. This tour books up fast, so purchase your tickets online before heading to the cave. Cost is $22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6 - 11. Tours run most days during the summer, leaving on the hour between 10 am and 5 pm. Winter lantern tours are held most weekends and leave at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.

The cave plays host to special events year-round including weddings and parties. There is a Bridal Chamber that holds up to 15 people, the Canopy Hall which accommodates 25, or an outdoor pavilion for larger parties. Visit the gift shop before or after your trip through the caves for unique items like t-shirts, handcrafted American Indian jewelry, and a variety of clearance-priced souvenirs. There is something for everyone so you will not go home empty handed. The whole family will love the unique adventure available to them at the Cave of the Mounds.

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