Venture deep into a vast underground cave network, hold on tight for hair-raising rides and enjoy stunning canyon views at the Caves of the Winds. There are adventures and activities for all the family at a natural wonder that was formed 500 million years ago.
Brothers John and George Pickett were amongst the first to discover the cave in 1880 and it opened for public tours the following year. They have been in continuous operation ever since.
Choose from one of the three tours on offer. The Discovery Tour is pitched at families and will take you through nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) of cave formations. Step into caverns with such names as Majestic Hall and the Temple of Silence and experience total cave darkness.
The Lantern Tour is 90-minute trek through the Caves of the Winds. Learn about the history of the underground complex and listen to ghost stories in caves that are only illuminated by the light of your lanterns. Crawl through tight spaces on the Caving 101 Tour, an introduction to caving.
When you emerge from the cave system, try the thrill rides. Hurtle towards the canyon floor at almost 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour on the Terror-dactyl dive ride. Go on the Bat-a-Pult, a 1,200-foot (366-meter) zip line ride across Williams Canyon. Very young children can climb and crawl through a subterranean-themed play land.
To enjoy superb views of the mountainous landscape and the 700-foot (213-meter) deep gorge, go to the Williams Canyon Overlook.
The cave complex is open every day except Christmas Day and the tours and rides attract separate fees. Visit the attraction’s website for details of age restrictions and tour reservations.
The Cave of the Winds is situated at the foot of Pikes Peak, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northwest of Colorado Springs. There is no bus service that travels directly to the caves, but you can get a bus to nearby Manitou Springs and ride in a taxi from there. Alternatively, drive and use the attraction’s free parking lot.