Tucked in the hinterlands of Colorado Springs in the shadow of towering Pike’s Peak, Cave of the Winds is an underground conduit inside of the Rocky Mountains. On the classic, 45-minute Discovery Tour, crane your neck at the colorful patterns etched on the walls above you, and feel the chill of the cave’s cold air as it blows from room to room. Marvel at stalactites and cave formations that have taken millions of years to form, and duck your head as you navigate your way ever deeper into the cave. To explore even further inside Cave of the Winds, grab a light and spelunk your way through a 1.5-hour lantern tour—an experience where the only light to guide you is flickering right in your hand. In addition to exploring the cave itself, spend some time on the hair-raising rides overlooking the canyon rim. On the playfully-named, but scream-inducing “Bat-A-Pult,” zip along a 1,200 foot line that offers a roundtrip ride through the canyon, or scare yourself on the “Terror-Dactyl” with a 200 foot, canyon-view free fall. Even the drive from Colorado Springs is an experience unto itself, and since Cave of the Winds has been welcoming visitors since 1881, it’s one of the earliest visitor attractions in all of Colorado.
Cave of the Winds is located 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs. Visitors should arrive with closed-toed shoes and a jacket for inside the cave, and remember that the cave is at 7,000 feet so pace yourself when walking. In summer, the cave is open daily from 9am-9pm, which changes to 10am-5pm for the winter from September-May. Admission is $20 for adults and $12 for children, and the Lantern Tour is $30 for adults, and $15 for children. Special discounts apply if you visit before 10am or after 7:30pm, and a single ride on the Terror-Dactyl is $50/person.