cave tours

Cave history

History books might show Colorado’s own Cave of the Winds as being discovered in 1881, but the caves are actually millions of years old! As early legends of over a thousand years ago tell, the Jicarilla Apaches told of a cave near Manitou Springs where the Great Spirit of the Wind resided.

When two brothers named George and John Pickett went exploring for new caves in the Williams Canyon area, they discovered what we now know as Cave of the Winds.

As they approached the mouth of the limestone entrance, legend has it that their candles flickered mysteriously in the wind blowing from a nearby crevice. This signaled them to explore further, and when they crawled through the limestone archway, they discovered a large chamber unlike anything ever seen before. This discovery promised the Pickett brothers an amazing and dramatic new underground world to explore, unlike anything ever experienced!

Daily tours

Discovery Tour

An Ideal Family Tour! Explore the electrically lit portion of Cave of the Winds on a 45 – 60 minute guided walking tour which includes 15 rooms, a 1/2 mile of concrete walkways, and 196 stairs. On this family-friendly tour, you will learn about the history and geology of the cave and see some of the most beautiful formations. 

Note: Baby front carriers are recommended for small children. Due to low ceilings, narrow passages, and stairs baby backpack carriers and strollers cannot be accommodated while on the Discovery Tour. You may also carry your child in your arms, or let them walk if they are able to do so.  

Tour Pricing
Age 0-3 Free
Ages 4-12 $17
Ages 13 & Up $25
Ages 4-12 (Military Discount) 10% off
Ages 13 & Up (Military Discount) 10% off

Summer discount

You can experience our most popular family tour at a discounted price! Early Riser & Happy Hour tours are valid from Memorial Day – Labor Day. Tickets must be purchased online!

Early Riser Discovery Tour

Valid for tours between 9:00 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Happy Hour Discovery Tour

Valid for tours between 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


Lantern Tour

WARNING! This spooky tour is much darker than the pictures appear!

Explore, by candlelight, the mysterious and unimproved Manitou Grand Caverns on a 90-minute guided tour which includes nearly a mile of walking. Like the adventurers of the past, you will navigate dark narrow tunnels, low passageways, uneven stairs, and rooms with muddy, original floors. Along the way, you will learn the history of Cave of the Winds as well as the frightening folklore, scary ghost stories, and unexplained phenomena of the Manitou Grands. 

Pro tip: Discovery Tour or Lantern Tour?

If you’re looking for a fun and educational tour to see formations and learn about geology, then our Discovery Tour may be for you!

Note: Children under the age of 8 are not permitted. Also, this tour includes a 250-foot long narrow passage that ranges from 42″–48″ inches tall. Therefore, it is not recommended for guests with knee or back trouble. This tour is also not recommended for persons who are easily frightened by ghost stories.  

Tour Pricing
Age 0-7 Children 8 and over only
Ages 8-12 $24
Ages 13 & Up $34
Ages 6-12 (Military Discount) 10% off
Ages 13 & Up (Military Discount) 10% off

For a limited time, take a JOURNEY INTO FEAR on our exclusive Haunted Lantern Tour: Director’s Cut! With only a handheld lantern, wind your way deep inside Cave of the Winds and hear spine-chilling ghost stories, learn about unexplained phenomena and the true raw history of Cave of the Winds. This Haunted Lantern Tour has EXTRA SPOOKY appeal for those of you looking for hair-raising fun! 

Reservations are strongly recommended due to the limited space available.

Haunted Lantern Tour

Director's Cut

Summer discount

You can experience our Lantern Tour at a discounted price!  Tickets must be purchased online to receive the discount.

Early Riser Lantern Tour

Valid for tours between 9:15 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Happy Hour Lantern Tour

Valid for tours between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Specialty tours

Caving 101

Explore the wild, undeveloped depths of the Manitou Grand Caverns on this 2 to 2-1/2 hour guided tour that involves an assortment of crawling, climbing, and walking through wet and muddy passages of various sizes. On this tour, you will travel for nearly a mile while learning basic spelunking skills, interesting history and geology of the cave.

Note: Children under the age of 13 are not permitted. This tour is also not recommended for guests who have back or knee trouble.

Tour Pricing
Ages 13 & Up only $59
Ages 13 & Up (Military Discount) 10% off
What to expect & FAQs

"Great Activity for the Family!” This was so fun! We did the cave tour and the wind walker/zip line attraction. Our tour guide was fun and informative, and seeing the inside of a cave was a cool experience!

– Joanne A., Maine –

Discovery Tour:
Wear comfortable clothing: jeans, shorts, or even a comfortable skirt will do. Make sure your shoes have good traction – sneakers or hiking boots are ideal. Bring a light jacket – even in the heat of a Colorado summer, the temperature in these Colorado caves is a pleasant 54 degrees.

Lantern Tour:
Bending down and shuffling your feet is required, so wearing athletic shoes is highly recommended. Please keep in mind your shoes may get muddy while on this tour. Your candle lantern will be provided for you during your tour.

Discovery Tour:

  • Summertime (June – August): We have tours daily starting at 9 a.m. Discovery Tours leave every 20-30 minutes. Last tour leaves approximately 1 hour prior to closing.
  • Wintertime (September – May):  We have tours daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tours leave every 30-40 minutes. Last tour leaves at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Lantern Tour:

  • Summertime (June – August): We have tours daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tours leave on the hour.
  • Wintertime (September – May): Tours are available daily starting at 11 a.m.

Caving 101:

  • Winter hours: Caving 101 will be offered every other Sunday at 4:00pm.
  • Summer hours: Caving 101 will be offered Thursday – Sunday at 8pm in July and Saturday and Sunday at 8pm in August.
  • Caving 101 will not be offered on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekends.

Exceptions may apply, please see Park Hours By Month for more information.

Front baby carriers are permitted. Our caves have narrow, short passageways with over 200 stairs, so strollers and baby backpacks are not allowed.
Pets are not allowed in Cave of the Winds Mountain Park.

The cave itself is not wheelchair-accessible because of its narrow passageways and stairs. We can give you a complimentary visit into the Canopy Hall, the first room in the Cave, which highlights beautiful formations. Wheelchair access is available in the nature center, pavilion, Caver’s Cafe, Gift Shop, and restrooms.

See our FAQs page for more useful information about your visit.

Elevate your tour

Add the Pioneer Package

Perfect for families! Explore and soar when you choose this fun aboveground package.  The Pioneer package includes one ride per person on each of the included attractions: the Wind Walker Challenge Course, Bat-A-Pult aerial adventure, Cliff Hanger Climbing Wall, and Geronimo’s Leap.

Scroll to Top