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Manitou Springs, Colorado
The Manitou Springs City Hall.
The Manitou Springs City Hall.
At the foot of Pikes Peak
Location of the City of Manitou Springs in El Paso County, Colorado.
Location of the City of Manitou Springs in El Paso County, Colorado.
Manitou Springs, Colorado is located in the United States
Manitou Springs, Colorado
Manitou Springs, Colorado
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County El Paso County
City Manitou Springs
Incorporated January 25, 1888
 • Type Home rule municipality
 • Total 3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)
 • Land 3.15 sq mi (8.16 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
6,412 ft (1,938 m)
 • Total 4,992
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,711.65/sq mi (660.82/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 719
FIPS code 08-48445
GNIS feature ID 0193457

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.

The city population was 4,992 at the 2010 United States Census. Students are served by Manitou Springs School District 14 and Manitou Springs High School.


General William Jackson Palmer and Dr. William Abraham Bell founded Manitou Springs in 1872, intending the town to be a "scenic health resort". Dr 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."

Springs compromised in the 1970s

In the 1970s, Woodland Park, 19 miles (31 km) up Ute Pass, built a sewage treatment plant on top of the fault line that forms the pass. As a result, many of the springs were made undrinkable during the bulk of the 1980s, but this has since largely been corrected.

Historic district

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 National Register of Historic Places listing and one of the country's largest National Historic Districts.

Waldo Canyon fire

In June 2012, the entire city was evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon fire burning nearby. Portions 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, when the order was lifted and residents were allowed back home. There was no fire damage visible from Manitou Springs, and all businesses were reopened.

Waldo Canyon flash flood

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 situated along Fountain Creek and closed a portion of Manitou Avenue which re-opened 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.


Climate data for Manitou Springs, Colorado
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Average high °F (°C) 43
Average low °F (°C) 18
Record low °F (°C) −26
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.32


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 422
1890 1,439 241.0%
1900 1,303 −9.5%
1910 1,357 4.1%
1920 1,129 −16.8%
1930 1,205 6.7%
1940 1,462 21.3%
1950 2,580 76.5%
1960 3,626 40.5%
1970 4,278 18.0%
1980 4,475 4.6%
1990 4,535 1.3%
2000 4,980 9.8%
2010 4,992 0.2%
2019 (est.) 5,390 8.0%
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.

Attractions and community events


Attractions include:

  • 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
  • The Manitou Incline, a popular extreme hiking trail rising above town at the base of Mount Manitou

Mineral springs and parks

  • 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.
  • 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 hotels

  • Barker House, (a private Residential Apartment building for many decades) was one of the very 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
  • Blue Skies Inn
Matt Carpenter, 42, approaching the summit of Pikes Peak during the 2006 Pikes Peak Marathon. Carpenter reached the summit in 2:08:27 on his way to a 3:33:07 win in the Marathon.
Overlooking the city of Manitou Springs Colorado
A view overlooking the city from the foothills

Notable people

  • 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.

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