Garden of the Gods – Manitou Cliff Dwellings (Colorado Springs)

We love traveling and really try to the make the most of any trip we take.  As I mentioned several posts ago, Hubby’s cousin got married up in the mountains near Crested Butte, Colorado.  After the wedding, we stayed with Hubby’s sister (husband and son) who live in Colorado Springs.  Joined by his other sister (husband and 2 kids) and Hubby’s parents, it made for a lot of kids, a lot of chaos and a lot of reasons to get out of the house to see things!! We hit both the Garden of the Gods and the Manitou Cliff Dwellings on the same day.

Garden of the Gods: In the late 1800s, Charles Elliot Perkins owned about 480 acres including a portion of the Garden of the Gods. Upon his death in 1909, his family donated this land to the city of Colorado Springs on the condition that it would be a public park.  The city of Colorado Springs additional surrounding land and the park is now over 1,300 acres. It is free to visit.

It really is a beautiful park!

On our way into the park, we saw bighorn sheep. The kids were pretty excited about that!

We spent a LOT of time wandering among the red rocks and taking family photos!  I’m not going to make you sit through the dozens of pictures of the kids, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents (whew, right?!)… But overall, we loved the park!

The kids can’t wait for the day that they can do some rock climbing. It is allowed in the park, but proper equipment and a permit is required.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings: Since we didn’t have time on this trip to head down to Mesa Verde (in southwest Colorado), we had to be content with a visit to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.

In the early 1900s, the Anasazi Cliff Dwellings were relocated to Manitou Springs as a museum and tourist attraction. The stones were taken from a collapsed site in southwest Colorado.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed exploring the dwellings and loved climbing up the ladders and through the various windows.

There was a museum and large gift store on the premises as well.  All of us adults traded off watching the kids and spent quite a bit of time enjoying the museum.

The kids were fascinated by the papoose. Apparently, because babies spent so much strapped onto their Mother’s backs, many people wound up with permanent misshapen skulls. The babies heads were often strapped down to prevent them from bouncing around and the result was the deformed skull you see below:

So, that’s about it on our trip out to Colorado! If you’re interested I wrote posts on

Next week I’ll be sharing some of the things we did for our first week or so back to homeschool.

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