Named for the cool breezes that emanates from the cave's entrance, Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs is perhaps one of the most popular and stunning attractions in the Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs area. The cave opened to tourists in 1880, and today you can see more than 20 massive and colorfully lighted rooms within two miles of underground limestone caverns. For those who want a peek into its haunting depths, they'll turn out the lights and you can explore by lantern-light tours. Starting mid-June 2012, the cave offers a zipline ride above a Manitou Springs canyon to witness the grandeur of the area — in daylight or at nightfall.
After a journey into the center of the mountains, consider a stop at nearby Manitou Cliff Dwellings, where Ancestral Puebloan homes are tucked into the side of sheer walls.
Take an aerial tram to the top of a bluff in Glenwood Springs, where a tour of the stalactite- and stalagmite-rich Glenwood Caverns begins. The caves themselves are actually near the top of the mountain, rather than near the bottom as you might expect and require a ride to the top on a gondola that also offers amazing views of the surrounding Roaring Fork Valley. The cave's wide-open, massive rooms are lined with otherworldly rock formations. If you're feeling like you've got the hang of this caving thing, there are also tours of undeveloped portions of the caverns that include some crawling and squeezing to get in to.
After a tour deep underground, take the high-speed alpine slide to the bottom of the bluff or enjoy one of the rides found at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park near the cave’s entrance.
Good to Know
Bring a light jacket on your cave tour — it's usually significantly cooler in the caves, regardless of the outside temperature.