Dating back to 1100 CE, these well-preserved Anasazi cliff dwellings are a must visit for anyone interested in history and ... More
Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum
Dating back to 1100 CE, these well-preserved Anasazi cliff dwellings are a must visit for anyone interested in history and ancient cultures. The dwellings feature over 40 rooms, including a revered ceremonial kiva. All the tours are self-guided and require some ladder and stair climbing to enter the structures. Two on-site museums, which feature Anasazi artifacts, offer sharp insight on the how, where, when and why of this cliff-dwelling culture. Visit from June to August and witness traditional Indian dancers. Hours vary seasonally; check the website for more details.
We thought about not going after reading some of the negative reviews on this site, but we are happy we decided to follow through with our plans. This spot is easy to get to, well designed, spotlessly maintained and extremely informative. It isn't huge, but sure is classy. After being in the museum five minutes, we realized that we will want to visit again sometime. It is a great place for a family outing or a day school or home school field trip. So glad we went!
What a ripoff. I paid $35.00 for my family and we were in and out in under 30 minutes, none of the dwellings look original, the walls have been redone and they have lights hanging inside the dwellings. We spent about 15 minutes inside the dwellings because that's all the time it takes to walk through the entire site, and about 15 minutes looking in the museums. This place is a tourist trap setup to ripoff unsuspecting tourists such as myself...you ought to be ashamed. Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings in Cortez cost $10.00 to $15.00 for the whole car & you could spend the entire day looking around and still not see everything. I truly wish we would have done something different for our first & probably our last trip to Colorado Springs.
There is nothing historic about the cliff dwellings. In fact there is more authentic Native American History in line creek Missouri and the museum is absolutely free to the public. Just another lame tourist attraction with high price Japanese made souvenirs. DO NOT waste your time or money!!! There are sooooooo many cooler things to do here in the Springs!
I had to ask a girl in the shop about the cliff dwellings because there are no experts available, I wanted to know why the mortar was in such good condition,...... its because the whole thing was built in about 1907 - admittedly from stones that they took from mesa verde - but it is a REPLICA and they are not open and honest about that. We are from the UK , we know what old buildings look like , the mortar in the 'dwellings' is in better condition than the mortar on my house which is only 50 years old.
It is clearly just a money spinning tourist attraction that has no care for authenticity, I suggested to the girl they get some kind of native american presence there , she said that they didn't get the contract for the indian dancers this year.....I am in manitou springs now with wifi at the campsite doing my first ever travel review because I am sick to my stomach that so many people go there and think they have visited an ancient site.
The gift shop is 4 times as large as the 'museum' and it is embarrassing the rubbish it sells - it is an insult to the native peoples I'm sure , 21st century insult after 19th&20th century injury, The closest I got to a native american was the 3ft high lollipop stand . Wow I am so pissed off ! If they had made clear it was a replica I would have enjoyed it as that but they didn't they pretend it is real and I think that is a crime .
go with that in mind and you and your kids might like it, to me it's like a final nail in the ancient peoples coffin, and I'm gutted.
I'm sad to hear all of these reviews about the Dwellings being fake. The Cliff Dwellings themselves are original, the only thing changed is the location. They were moved around the early 1900's to save them from being destroyed by treasure hunters, which is actually pretty cool. I have been to Mesa Verde, and although they are larger , you cannot walk through them like you can at the Dwellings. It's not like the Dwellings were moved across the country to a different environment either. The museum was interesting with many artifacts, including Anasazi skulls, and the gift shop was very large but welcoming. Overall, I enjoyed visiting this attraction and would recommend it to any family.
I had been to the Cliff Dwellings about 40 years ago and returned in 2010 with my family and found what they have done with the site very disappointing. Forty years ago the site at least looked like an actual architectural site. Now they have concrete sidewalks with steel handrails right up to the structure. In addition they have replaced wooden timbers with pressure treated yellow pine and done tuck point on the masonry with concrete mortar. The whole structure looks very fake. I know the site was built in the early 1900’s but at least forty years ago the place looked original.
OK, the dwellings were not originally on this site; they were originally from several hundred miles away from another part of Colorado. In the early 1900s, stones from the authentic dwellings were relocated to Manitou Springs to create this historical represenation and tourist site. For some reason, some people seem to think that this information is sprung upon visitors or hidden from them. The origins of the Cliff Dwellings are mentioned in almost every travel book/website and is thoroughly explained in the museum, along with fascinating photos of tourists from the early 1900s arriving (much like we did) to learn about the Anaszi Indian culture, and imagine what it would be to live and work in a cliff dwelling.
Our two 10 year olds LOVED being here, climbed through windows, crawled into small spaces, etc, while the adults toured in a more dignified manner: enjoying strolling through all the rooms. Children cannot be running around or bumping into others, but they can walk around independently, reading postings on the wall about each room, and actively wandering about---with no museum guide to say SHHH! or "Don't Touch!" If you have no imagination, don't want to read the signs, and don't want to learn anything from touring the museum, then you should probably just look at photos and not go, because your visit would be only 10 minutes. But if you want to experience what it would be to live in the dwellings, and consider and imagine, and learn, and see young children connect with history, you can easily spend 30 minutes in the dwellings (lots of great photo ops) and then another 45 minutes in the museum. There are coupons on the web if you do a search---enjoy it!
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