MANITOU SPRINGS — In our new exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you everything from hidden gems to well known areas.
This week, we checked out Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, which features family friendly activities, and plenty of heart pumping adventure for thrill seekers like myself.
Situated 7,000 feet above sea level, Cave of the Winds has been entertaining visitors since 1881. The park is located off of Highway 24 in Manitou Springs, and offers several different guided cave tours, rides and attractions.
Cave of the Winds Lantern Tour
During our visit to the park, we start out our adventure deep in the caves with the lantern tour. This tour features ghost stories and historical tales, and is not recommended for younger guests who might scare easily.
Like adventurers of the past, we're given a lantern at the start of the tour to help guide us through nearly a mile of dark tunnels and low passageways.
The most precarious part of the tour is a slender passage almost the length of a football field, but with only 4 feet of clearance.
Walking hunched over for several minutes was a bit of challenge for our group, and might prove difficult for people with severe back or knee problems.
Our tour guide Dusten shares with our group bone chilling stories ranging from tales of exploration, grand parties, missing people and accidental deaths.
Each story and each room on the tour is more immersive than the next.
We learn about the founder George Pickett, who lost one of his brothers in a tragic accident within the caves.
Another recent and terrifying tale centers around the Texas Pit. Years ago, a woman swears that she saw a demon-like being with no eyes that grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her down into the pit.
I won't give away the full story, but that one definitely freaked me out!
After our chilling 90-minute tour comes to an end, it's now time for something a little more thrilling.
Meet the Terror-dactyl
This first of a kind free falling swing sits 200 feet above Williams Canyon, and reaches speeds up to 100 mph while pulling 2gs.
After getting strapped in, the ride slowly begins to tilt forward and within seconds, we're plunging face first into the canyon. For me personally, I'm such a thrill seeker that my hands shoot up into the air as a huge rush comes over me.
My co-worker Brett on the other hand, well, it's like he's seen a ghost.
Wind Walker Challenge Course
Not yet done with our day, we next check out the three story tall Wind Walker Challenge Course, a ropes course that hangs on the edge of the cliffs 600 feet above Williams Canyon.
It's a fun ropes course that offers a full range of obstacles for all ages and skill levels, and comes highly recommended.
Cave of the Winds was great, with so much fun stuff to see and do! Make sure to tune in next week to find out where our next adventures will take us.