The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are located just outside of Manitou Springs, Colorado and are an example of cliff dwellings built by the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. These cliff dwellings are not original to the site - they were originally built in the Southwestern corner of Colorado - close to Mesa Verde National Park's cliff dwellings. They were collected, packaged and moved by railroad from 1904 to 1907 to the Colorado Springs area and rebuilt using concrete and mortar - which is why you can tour, walk on and climb these ruins with no chance of damaging them. The move was to protect the ruins from looters and relic collectors before the federal government passed The Antiquities Act of 1906.
A Native American family lived in these ruins, as late as 1984. You can visit the ruins - and see the rooms where the families lived. The cliff dwellings protected the Taos people from invaders. They could pull up the ladders and essentially be safe from attackers - they couldn't be reached from above or below. You can see the hooks where they hung vegetables and meat - and see how low lying the ceilings are. This tribe was short!
When you visit the Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings you can also visit the small museum and gift shop. The cost to visit is minimal - I think it was $7 - and it's a quick stop on your way to Pikes Peak. Our visit took maybe an hour, tops. I've not been to Mesa Verde and it's cliff dwellings so it was fun to visit and learn the history of these fascinating people.
This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox , Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute!