Mike Nelson's Colorado -- Cave Of The Winds Survives Waldo Canyon Fire

Cave, Other Attractions Have Reopened

The Cave of the Winds has a long history in Manitou Springs.

It was discovered by two young brothers in 1880. It's been a tourist attraction since 1881. People come from all over the world to experience this natural wonder in the heart of Colorado, but it almost didn't make it through the summer of 2012.

The Waldo Canyon Fire burned within a 100 yards of the buildings. However, firefighters stopped the flames before anything was damaged.

"The fire was totally crazy. We were closed for about 9 days. The fire came just a couple hundred yards from burning any of our buildings," said Daniel Carey with Cave of the Winds.

While the charred landscape is visible from the the parking lot, the cave and the attractions are alive and well.

Inside, visitors walk through room after room of the natural, massive cave enjoying the rock formations and learning about the history of the cave.

"This is canopy hall. It's the largest room in the cave. It's 200 feet long, 60 feet wide and 35 feet high," explains a guide in the cave.

When the cave opened 130 years ago, it was much harder to get inside.

"So you had this rope ladder. Heads up about 10 to 15 feet which it then connects to a passage you would crawl through," explains a cave guide.

But there's more to Cave of the Winds than just a cave. The Carey family has modernized and energized the attraction with two more attractions. The first is a bat-a-pult.

"It's a 600 foot cable ride. Somewhat like a zipline, but you're sitting in a chair," Carey said.

Riders get a great view of Williams Canyon as they soar over hundreds of feet in the air. Even if you have a fear of heights, it's a great ride.

There's also the wind walker challenge course. It's an engineering masterpiece of harnesses, ropes and a tracking system, all suspended in the air and draped over a cliff.

Learn more about the cave tours, the bat-a-pult and the wind walker challenge course.

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