Cave of the Winds

Useful Information

Location: I-25 to Exit 141, Hwy 24 west for 10 km. Adjacent to Manitou Springs, CO.
(38.8724892773308, -104.92032162445341)
Open: NOV to MAR daily 10-17 (last tour at 16:30).
APR to OCT daily 9-21 (last tour at 20).
Fee: Discovery Tour: Adults USD 18, Children (6-11) USD 9, Children (9-5) free.
Lantern Tour: Adults USD 22, Children (6-11) USD 12, Children (9-5) not allowed.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyBlowhole Ordovician limestone.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=2150 m asl
Guided tours: Discovery Tour: D=45 min.
Lantern Tour: lanterns and costumed guides, like in the l800s, D=90 min.
Explorer's trip: D=240 min.
Address: Cave of the Winds, PO Box 826, Manitou Springs, CO 80829, Tel. +1-719-685-5444. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1600's known to the Ute Indians who lived in the mountain to the west.
MAR-1875 Messr. Case and Willcutt, discover the narrow opening to a cave while blasting limestone. They called it Mammoth Cave and opened it to the public.
02-OCT-1875 an engraving of the entrance to the cave appears in Harper's Weekly magazine.
1876 sold to Tom Green, who continued to offer access to the cave.
Mammoth Cave renamed Hucacode Cave, after two couples Hugh, Carl, Cora and Delia. Also called Huccacove Cave.
26-JUN-1880 Reverend Roselle T. Cross with several boys from a Boys Exploring Association visits the canyon. Two boys, George and John Pickett discover several chambers in the Cave of the Winds archway.
JUL-1880 Cave of the Winds first opened to the public by Charles Cross and the Boynton brothers.
DEC-1880 George W. Snider discovers a small blowhole with a plume of steam seven meters high during a hunt.
JAN-1881 George Snider and Charles Rinehart discover an upper level in the Cave of the Winds, form a partnership to purchase the cave.
26-FEB-1881 the Cave of the Winds is re-opened on a limited basis to the public.
09-JUN-1881 George Snider returns and excavates the blowhole, finding the Manitou Grand Caverns.
JAN-1885 George Snider begins commercialization efforts at the Manitou Grand Cavern.
07-MAR-1885 Manitou Grand Cavern opened to the public.
20-APR-1895 new tunnel entrance to the Cave of the Winds.
11-OCT-1904 the Grand Caverns are temporarily lighted with electric lights.
FEB-1906 five new rooms opened in the Cave of the Winds.
04-JUL-1907 electric light in the Cave of the Winds.
MAR-1910 R. D. Weir and J. F. Sandford excavated Centipede Cave in lower Williams Canyon for Lisle Harris.
10-JUL-1911 Centipede Cave opened to the public as Manitou Cave, electrically lit.
25-OCT-1913 Charles Austin of the Cave of the Winds purchased Manitou Cave, and closed the cave to the public.
APR-1960 additional parts of the cave opened to the public.
1974 present day fluorescent lighting installed.
01-MAY-1988 Adventure Room opens to the public.
1989 the Old Curiosity Shop opens to the public.


The Cave of the Winds formed inside the William's Canyon Limestone. This is GeologyOrdovician limestone which was formed about 450 Mio years ago. There are many caves in this area and a long history of cave exploration and exploitation. The Mammoth Cave, later renamed Hucacode Cave, was open to the public earlier. Since then the Manitou Grand Cavern was used as a show cave with electric light, and Centipede Cave was also opened to the public as Manitou Cave. Today only Cave of the Winds is still toured.

The cave was named for the moaning sound, the air produces in the natural entrance. This entrance is high on the cliff face of William's Canyon. The Visitors Center at the cave entrance provides a breathtaking view.