Manitou Springs sits at the foot of Pikes Peak and is known for its natural mineral springs and breathtaking scenery. Visit the mountainside town to hike through the scenery, explore the historic downtown area and to sample its renowned naturally carbonated soda water.
Mountain Springs was founded in 1872 as a health resort and some Native American cultures consider the area sacred because of its restorative waters.
A good way to experience the rugged and picturesque landscape is aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway that ascends 14,115 feet (4,302 meters) to the mountain’s summit. If you want to explore on two feet, take one of the many hiking trails. Experienced hikers will enjoy the moderate to difficult 4-mile (6.5-kilometer) Columbine Trail that passes through the Cheyenne Canyon. For more spectacular scenery, visit the Royal Gorge where one of the world’s tallest suspension bridges straddles a canyon on the Arkansas River.
The area’s early and most recent history is told through some of its major attractions. Investigate the Manitou Cliff Dwellings where the ancient Anasazi people used to live. Visit Miramont Castle, a grand 19th century building that is a mix of architectural styles. See more Victorian homes and buildings in the city’s historic district.
While you are in the downtown neighborhood, taste the spring water from the 10 decorative fountains. Each one is said to have its own distinctive flavor. They include the iron-rich waters of the Iron Springs Geyser and the Cheyenne Spring that has water from limestone aquifers.
Manitou Springs has an active nightlife. See live music in a tavern, enjoy dinner and a comedy show at the Iron Springs Chateau and try some new wines at a wine bar.
Manitou Springs lies 7 miles (11 kilometers) to the west of Colorado Springs. Get around on foot or by bike, bus, rental car or taxi. During the summer, travel to the downtown area’s shops and restaurants aboard the free shuttle bus. The city has three metered parking lots and plenty of metered street parking.