Manitou Springs, Colorado: Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings Team Field Report

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Cliff Dwellings Rd., Manitou Springs, CO
Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Just off the US 24 bypass as it passes to the north of town.
Daily Jun-Sep 9 am - 6 pm. Shorter hours fall, winter. (Call to verify)
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Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings. Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings
Ancient Indian cliff dwellings conveniently located near other authentic tourist attractions. Report...

Visitor Tips and News About Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings

We drove up to the entrance of this place and the dwellings appeared to be "fake" even from a distance. I asked the lady at the gate if they had been reconstructed and she said "Yes."

A few days later we were visiting the Royal Gorge when we met a ranger coming home from his duty at Mesa Verde. He explained to us that there had been a lady who owned property adjacent to Mesa Verde who was concerned that the Park was interested in expanding its boundaries to include the historic dwelling on her property. They were unable to come to terms on purchasing her property, and she decided to sell the dwellings rather than having them condemned by the government at their "suggested" value.

[Pat B, 09/01/2010]
Cliff Dwellings. Authentic Indian Cliff Dwellings

Unfortunately, these are not as authentic as suggested in the first entry. The stones were taken from a collapsed Anasazi site in southwest Colorado, shipped to the present location, and assembled to look like Anasazi-style buildings, some of which are believed to be replicas of buildings in Mesa Verde National Park. I also seem to remember that only a small percentage of the stones were original, and the rest of the walls were fabricated.

Personally, I felt cheated when I went there and felt like it was anything but authentic.

[Laura Bloom, 01/28/2009]
Manitou Cliff Dwellings

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings ARE real. They were "rescued" by a Colorado College Archaeological Class (CC is in nearby Colorado Springs) around 1905 from a site that was about to be flooded. I'm sure they have been stabilized (and possibly enhanced), but they were built by the Anasazi.

While I agree with many of your points (the museum is better than the actual ruins; the gift shop sells some nice Native American-made objects), I think it's a disservice to list the "fakery" tip as the first update. It is (IMHO) a nice little "roadside attraction" that will educate you and your kids...and you surely can't climb about on the ruins at Mesa Verde!

[Spencer, 03/09/2007]
Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Only portions of these dwellings were moved here. Native Americans have lived in this area long before European history starts to account for. Many tribes had used the site as a sacred gathering place for hundreds of years, but if you started to tell the truth they might want it back.

[toby lloyd tafoya joseph, 03/09/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big School DeskBig School Desk, Manitou Springs, CO - < 1 mi.
Miramont CastleMiramont Castle, Manitou Springs, CO - < 1 mi.
Balanced RockBalanced Rock, Manitou Springs, CO - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Cannibal: Alferd Packer Grave, Littleton, CO - 52 mi.

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March 28, 2015

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