Before the Colorado Springs KOA accepted its first RV camper, even before the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, this area was once home to Native Americans – people who lived traditional lifestyles of hunting, gathering, weaving, and pottery making.
Numerous tribes gathered at the foot of Pike’s Peak to drink the waters of Manitou Springs and take shelter in the Garden of the Gods during winter.
Although these First Americans were relocated to reservations further south in the 1880s, you can still learn about their way of life right here.
Eight Mineral Springs
The effervescent water that bubbles forth from the rocks in Manitou Springs was considered to be the breath of life of Manitou – The Great Spirit – as He was known by the Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute nations who dwelt in this region.
Explore the Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Your leashed dog is welcome too! Preserved under a protective red sandstone overhang, authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings are over 800 years old. These fascinating architectural remnants are from an American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. to 1300 A.D.
Garden of the Gods
Three Graces, Sentinel Spire, and Balanced Rock
The hauntingly beautiful red rock formations of the Garden of the Gods were formed millions of years ago during a period of massive geologic upheaval. Prehistoric native people first viewed the Garden of the Gods as early as 1200 BC and declared the place to be the birthplace of mankind.
A local Indian trader built the Garden of the Gods Trading Post in the early 1900s. The shop was designed to resemble a traditional Pueblo Indian home, so that visitors to the Southwest could have the opportunity to explore Native American culture through art, architecture, and crafts.
To learn about these places and many more, drop in to the Visitors Information Center at 515 S Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs.