The former home of the Anasazi people is a fascinating historical destination. More than 700 years ago these people built their homes into a red sandstone cliff and you can now walk through these dwellings and experience the American Indian culture that thrived in this area of the country. Located at the foot of Pike Peak, the dwellings are open seven days a week, and closed only for Christmas and Thanksgiving Days. In the summer, Native Americans enact living history by demonstrating the culture of the Anasazi people with traditional dances. Guests have been visiting the dwellings since 1906 and there is a self-guided tour that allows visitors to stroll through the homes of these Native American people.
The Anasazi people abandoned the dwellings they called home for hundreds of years somewhat mysteriously. Most scientists believe they were starved or forced out, and that drought more than likely played a major role. Others believe there may have been an enemy attack driving them away from their homes. There is little evidence lefts explaining why the cliffs were abandoned, aside from the pictographsthat can still be seen on the cliff's walls today.
Located next to the cliff is a Pueblo-style building that is home to a museum and giftshop. The museum features diorama showing daily Anasazi life, pottery, weapons, tools, and videos that teach about the history of these fascinating people. The museum opened in 1906 and has grown over the years to make the experience more educational. While in the Pueblo, stop by the gift shop filled with videos, books, and handicrafts like pottery, jewelry, rugs, and blankets representing the Native American culture.
Also on the grounds is a reproduction of a stone mesa-top building, as well as an Anasazi baking oven. The nature walk takes you around the grounds so you are able to explore the flowers, trees, herbs, and other plants that helped the Anasazi sustain life in the area for so many years. If you get hungry, stop by the snack bar that is open during summer months and enjoy dining in the picnice area nearby.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings sit is a great destination for field trips and school groups. Children love exploring the cave dwellings and it is a great hands on opportunity for kids to learn about Native American history. Bringing the history to life with the exploration of the caves and the story of the Anasazi makes the lessons more interesting for children. The site supplies a study guide so the learning and discussion can continue when you arrive back in the classroom. The Cliff Dwellings is also a great place to host an event. The natural site makes every event unique and the site can be reserved for parties, reunions, weddings, and other special events.
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Manitou Spring, Colorado is a fascinating and mysterious place to visit. If you are looking for a unique trip that will grab the interest of everyone in your group, pay a visit to this magical place.