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A Trip to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings

    Take all your children into your smallest full bathroom and tell them this is how big their house would be if they had lived with the Anasazi Native Americans.  Not only were the Anasazi abodes small; but often there was another family living in the same area less than 6 feet above, upstairs. But then, it is hard to spread out when your house is along a cliff.



    Located on the western edge of Colorado Springs near Manitou, you’ll find the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Dating back about 700 years, the dwellings were originally located in Colorado’s Mesa Verde area and then moved to their present location in 1907.


    Over spring break we decided to head down to Colorado Springs to make a combined trip of the dwellings and Garden of the Gods.




    The grounds consist of the dwellings, adobe dwelling/museum, picnic area, and snack bar.


    The gift shop is quite extensive. While walking through the gift shop there is an area about the history of the dwellings since their purchase in 1907.  I thought was all there was to the museum. However, a trip to find the restrooms revealed that there was a second museum with a whole area that covered Native American living, housing, farming, and clay pot making.



    My children have visited the dwellings before on class trips and it was nice to have them lead the way. I was pleased with how they informed me of the history and small details of the dwellings. So they do pay attention on field trips!


    We arrived around 11:00. It took us less than an hour to explore the dwellings and museums – twice. So we ate our packed lunch and drove over to the Garden of the Gods, the back entrance of which is about 5-10 minutes away from the dwellings.


    The admission price is a bit steep for this attraction, I suggest combining this stop with the Garden of the Gods (which is free) for a two for one experience.

    Tip: The dwellings have a lot of uneven ground, for little ones you‘ll want to pack a baby carrier instead of a stroller.


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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.