Manitou Springs is a home rule municipality located at the foot of Pikes Peak in western El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The town was founded for its natural mineral springs. The downtown area continues to be of interest to travelers, particularly in the summer, with many shops and restaurants, as well as a creekside city park. The main road through the center of town was one of the direct paths to the base of Pikes Peak. Barr Trail, which winds its way up Pikes Peak, is accessible from town. The subdivision Crystal Hills was added to the municipality in the 1960s.
Manitou Springs, Colorado
At the foot of Pikes Peak
|County||El Paso County|
|Incorporated||January 25, 1888|
|• Type||Home rule municipality|
|• Mayor||John Graham|
|• Total||3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)|
|• Land||3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||6,412 ft (1,938 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,711.65/sq mi (660.82/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0193457|
General William Jackson Palmer and Dr. William Abraham Bell founded Manitou Springs in 1872, intending the town to be a "scenic health resort". Bell's home, Briarhurst Manor, is open to the public as a fine dining restaurant, which is listed on the National Register of Historic places. In 1876, the town was incorporated. "Manitou Springs has been the quintessential tourist town since the 1870s, when visitors discovered the healing waters the Ute Indians had been drinking for years. Many of the town's mineral springs still function today and the water is free."
In 1980, the Manitou Springs Historic District was formed by the Historic Preservation Committee to manage development, renovation and preservation within the town. It is a National Register of Historic Places listing and one of the country's largest National Historic Districts.
Waldo Canyon fireEdit
In June 2012, the entire city was evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire nearby. Parts of western Colorado Springs were also evacuated. Manitou Springs did not suffer any fire damage, and the city was under evacuation orders from only 1:30 a.m. Monday until 8 p.m. the same day. There was no fire damage visible from Manitou Springs, and all businesses reopened. 
Waldo Canyon flash floodEdit
On the afternoon of August 9, 2013, the city was inundated by a flash flood entering the northern edges of the city via roadways and natural channels as it descended from the flooded-out US Hwy 24. Traffic was stopped in both directions as the highway barriers formed a river drifting several occupied cars down a runoff ditch. The strong current made a path down Manitou Avenue from Cavern Gulch, as well as Canon Avenue, meandering turbulently through streets, homes, businesses, and spillways, damaging 20 homes, 8 of them significantly. The flood water threatened buildings and parking lots along Fountain Creek, and closed a portion of Manitou Avenue, which reopened later that evening.
Situated directly along U.S. Route 24 just west of Old Colorado City and Cave of the Winds, the town is bordered by Mt. Manitou to the west, Red Mountain to the south, and Englemann Canyon, south and west. It is near Garden of the Gods, with the same red stone as Red Mountain, and is at the base of Pikes Peak. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.2 km2), all of it land.
Manitou Springs has a humid continental climate (Koppen: Dfb), categorized by four distinct seasons. Summertime is hot, and wintertime is cool, sometimes cold. Spring and fall are generally very pleasant.
|Climate data for Manitou Springs, Colorado|
|Record high °F (°C)||73
|Average high °F (°C)||43
|Average low °F (°C)||18
|Record low °F (°C)||−26
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.32
Manitou Springs is managed by the elected mayor and six city council members. The mayor is elected to a two-year term. Council members are elected to 4 year, overlapping, terms. Three council members are "at large" members and three members represent one of each of the 3 wards in Manitou Springs. Manitou Springs residents may attend the following meetings or working sessions held each month at the Council Chambers at 606 Manitou Avenue.
|1st Tuesday||2nd Tuesday||3rd Tuesday||4th Tuesday|
|City Council meeting||Working session||City Council meeting||Optional working session|
City boards and commissionsEdit
The Manitou Springs City Boards and Commissions include:
- Business Improvement District sponsors events and promotions to encourage tourism and business within Manitou Springs. It was also formed to "improve the cleanliness, safety, and marketability of the Downtown Historic District."
- Fountain Creek Restoration Committee
- Historic Preservation Commission manages development, restoration and preservation of the Historic District.
- Housing Advisory Board
- iManitou including the Chamber of Commerce, Office of Economic Development and Visitors Bureau.
- Metro Parking District, which operates parking lots.
- Mineral Springs Foundation was organized to "restore, protect and publicize the natural mineral springs".
- Open Space Advisory Committee was formed to acquire open space.
- Park and Recreation Advisory Board is charged with the enhancement and promotion of the local parks and trails.
- Parking Authority Board
- Planning Commission, with the objective of "guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, well adjusted and harmonious development of the City and its environs."
- Urban Renewal Authority Board to oversee the "redevelopment of the east end of Manitou Avenue."
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,980 people, 2,452 households, and 1,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,642.6 inhabitants per square mile (634.2/km2). There were 2,654 housing units at an average density of 875.4/sq mi (338.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.98% White, 3.65% Hispanic or Latino, 0.50% African American, 1.06% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 2.27% from two or more races.
There were 2,452 households, out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 40.2% were married couples living together' 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present; and 48.8% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.73.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 18.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 32.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,514, and the median income for a family was $57,260. Males had a median income of $39,102 versus $24,286 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,492. About 4.7% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
The side of The Spa and the bridge over Fountain Creek
Cheyenne Spring House, Manitou Avenue
Manitou Avenue and Barker House
Attractions and community eventsEdit
- Cave of the Winds, cave complex; tours given daily
- The Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater, located on Ruxton Avenue, is a dinner theatre for families and adults.
- Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a full-size replica of Anasazi Indian cliff dwellings, as well as a museum. The cliff dwellings were built in the early 1900s, using materials from ruined cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area.
- Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway, extending from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak
- Manitou Springs Food Tour
- Manitou Springs Heritage Center
- Miramont Castle and Manitou Springs Fire Department Museum
- Rainbow Falls (aka Graffiti Falls) is a waterfall on Fountain Creek where there is a large amount of colorful graffiti painted on the canyon walls and bridge overpass.
- The only two recreational marijuana dispensaries in the county.
Pikes Peak as seen from Manitou Springs
Preserved Baldwin Engine No. 5 on public display at Manitou Springs Depot, September 2006
Mineral springs and parksEdit
- The Springsabouts Walking Tours, a tour of nine of the Manitou Mineral Springs sites offered by the Mineral Springs Foundation. People can also take their own tour of the springs by visiting The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau to pick up a free mineral springs brochure, content chart and a sampling cup.
- Parks, from east to west along Manitou Avenue, include Schryver Park, Memorial Park, Mansions Park, and Soda Springs Park. Fields Community Park is located on El Paso Boulevard. Seven Minute Gazebo is located behind Mansions and Memorial Parks.
- There are a total of eight springs throughout town, each with their own mineral properties.
- Manitou Incline, a former incline railway bed that rises over 2,000 feet above Manitou Springs is a popular hiking and fitness activity.
Annual Events include:
Inns and hotelsEdit
- Barker House, (a private Residential Apartment building for many decades) was one of the first hotels in Manitou Springs and due to its long history, Barker House is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Briarhurst Manor, Victorian manor house built by the founder of Manitou Springs, Dr. William Bell
- Cliff House at Pikes Peak, a small luxury hotel and dining room, on the National Register of Historic Places
- Matt Carpenter, current resident of the city, the most successful male athlete in the history of the Pikes Peak Marathon, the outright record holder and winner of the marathon on eleven occasions.
- Clarence R. Wallace, Brigadier general, USMC; was born in Manitou Springs
- Justin Armour, NFL football player for the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos played for the High School team. Class of 1991.
- Actors George Stults and Geoff Stults attended Manitou Springs High School. Graduated in 1995 and 1993 respectively.
- "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- "Colorado Counties". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "City of Manitou Springs website". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved 2021-09-15.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Manitou Springs city, Colorado". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 25, 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Welcome to Manitou Springs". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Manitou Springs". Colorado Tourism Office. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- National Register of Historic Places in El Paso County, Colorado. American Dreams. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Eric Peterson (January 29, 2009). Frommer's Denver, Boulder & Colorado Springs. John Wiley & Sons. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-470-46523-3. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- "Waldo Canyon flooding causes damage to 20 homes". Denver Post. July 2013. Retrieved Feb 25, 2015.
- Manitou Springs Historic District Nomination Form Archived 2013-11-12 at the Wayback Machine. History Colorado. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "weather.com". Retrieved October 26, 2012.
- "City Council". City of Manitou Springs. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Manitou Springs Ward Map" (PDF). City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "City Council Meetings". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "City Boards and Commissions". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Business Improvement District". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Restore Fountain Creek". Fountain Creek Restoration Project. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- Historic Preservation Committee. City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "iManitou". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Metro Parking District". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Mineral Springs Foundation". Mineral Springs Foundation, Manitou Springs, Colorado. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Open Space Advisory Committee". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Park and Recreation Advisory Board". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Parking Authority Board". City of Manitou Springs. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Planning Commission". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Urban Renewal Authority Board". City of Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Historic Manitou Springs, Colorado - 2013 Visitors Guide. The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau & Office of Economic Development. 2013. pp. 19–24.
- "Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theatre". Colorado Tourism Office. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theatre Archived 2013-05-16 at the Wayback Machine. Pikes-peak.com Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Discover History, Explore the Past at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings". Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Manitou Springs Cliff Dwelling Museum. Retrieved May 14, 2013
- Janet Kolb. "Manitou Springs: Arts, history, entertainment founded on pure mineral water [July 21, 2002. Corrected 08/14/02]." Colorado Springs: The Gazette. 2002. HighBeam Research. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Manitou & Pike's Peak Cog Railway. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Manitou Springs Food Tours. Colorado Springs Food Tours. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Manitou Springs Heritage Center. Historic Manitou Springs, Inc. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Manitou Springs tax collections booming amid recreational marijuana sales". gazette.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Historic Manitou Springs, Colorado - 2013 Visitors Guide. The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau & Office of Economic Development. 2013. pp. 10–11, 40–41.
- Historic Manitou Springs, Colorado - 2013 Visitors Guide. The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau & Office of Economic Development. 2013. pp. 13, 40–41.
- Manitou Springs Park and Trails map. Manitou Springs Government. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Manitou Mineral Springs". Visit Colorado Springs. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- Historic Manitou Springs, Colorado - 2013 Visitors Guide. The Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau & Office of Economic Development. 2013. p. 13.
- Manitou Springs Fruitcake Toss. Visit Colorado Springs. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Historic Speakers Series[permanent dead link]. Manitou Springs Heritage Center. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Travis Duncan. "Calendar Benefits Library; Work of 17 local artists is showcased in '09 'Historic Manitou Springs' calendar." Colorado Springs: The Gazette. September 28, 2008. HighBeam Research. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- 9Health Fair Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine. 9Health Fair. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival. Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run. Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- About. Clayfest. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Overview Archived 2013-08-13 at the Wayback Machine. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Good ol Sumertime Ice Cream Social and Pie Baking Contest Archived 2013-09-18 at the Wayback Machine. Historic Manitou Springs. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb. Summit Cycling Productions. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Buddy Walk. National Down Syndrome Society. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Craft Lager Festival. Colorado Springs Craft Beer Festival Inc. May 14, 2013.
- Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Mountain Music Festival. Visit Colorado Springs. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- National Register of Historic Places in El Paso County, Colorado. American Dreams. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon Age-Group and Course Records, Skyrunner.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manitou Springs, Colorado.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Manitou Springs.|