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manitou cliff dwellings summer 2021
View from inside the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

'History' and 'hands-on' are not normally seen together but you can get hands-on with these 700 year-old ruins and learn more about the ancient people who built them.

What you can do

Get into the details

Most attractions with artifacts and structures that are more than 700 years old would never allow visitors to look, explore and touch — but the Manitou Cliff Dwellings (located west of Colorado Springs) has bucked such restrictions from day one. At this popular locale, you’re not only allowed to touch the structures, you’re strongly encouraged to!

Step into a piece of history as you wander through painstakingly preserved Pueblo Indian structures relocated from McElmo Canyon in southern Colorado in the early 1900s. While they were relocated just over 100 years ago, the structures themselves date back centuries before Colorado was even a state. As you walk through 40 unique rooms, you’ll get a picture of what life was like for the indigenous peoples of the region — how they lived, what they ate, where they slept and what they did for fun.

When you’ve explored to your heart’s content, you can head over to the Pueblo Indian museum, which shares even more about the peoples of the Four Corners region, including informative videos, and authentic pottery, weapons and other artifacts.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings gift shop is filled with beautiful handmade jewelry, Native American art, pottery and crafts, as well as informative books, videos and other items you can use to commemorate your visit or keep learning about the amazing people and cultures of the southwest.

Outside the museum and beyond the dwellings, you’ll find a scenic nature walk complete with well-labeled native flowers, herbs, trees and other plants. Every month the Cliff Dwellings also host fun, free events, like visits with real-live wolves where you can take your photo with the majestic creatures in exchange for a donation to their preserve.

Things to know

$12.75 / Adult

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Daily

Weather permitting
Average time

1-2 hours

Exertion level
Attraction type


Yes, you can! You can walk around or through all the rooms (though it isn’t appropriate or possible to go down into the kiva). Visitors who are slender and short enough can actually slip into some of the smaller rooms and get a feel for Pueblo Indian apartment house living.

The Preserve is the cliff dwellings, themselves, which have been preserved for the education of present and future generations.

Yes. They get bus tours all the time. Their lower group rates apply to parties of ten persons or more. By the way, bus drivers and tour guides are admitted free.

In their gift shop, you’ll find modern Native American made pottery, jewelry, flint-snapped knives and artifacts. You will also find a great selection of Colorado made products.

Because of the slope of the dwellings, the steps and the narrow passages inside, the dwellings, themselves, are not accessible to wheelchairs. The entrance to the cliff dwellings – is wheelchair accessible by ramp from the parking lot. From that point the entire front of the dwellings can be seen. By the way, people in wheelchairs are admitted to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings for free.

Yes, as long as your pet is leashed, they can go wherever you go including the ruins and the museums. Please be sure to clean up after your pets.


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