The natural springs in Manitou Springs, Colorado have been popular since the early 1800’s and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. People have come to Manitou Springs from all over the world for it’s healing values, and still enjoy several of them today.
Manitou Springs was named manitou by Native Americans for the “breath of the Great Spirit Manitou”, whom they believe to have created the bubbles, or “effervescence”, in the spring water. The springs were considered sacred grounds where Native American tribes such as the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyene drank and soaked in the mineral water to replenish and heal themselves.
In 1868 a plan for a health resort was developed by Dr. William Bell and General William Palmer. At it’s development, Manitou Springs became the first resort town in the state of Colorado.
In 1873 Henry McAllister, a developer working for General Palmer, touted the medicinal benefits of the springs and that Manitou Springs had the necessary components of a successful spa resort, including “incomparable climate and scenery”. Medical practitioners, such as Dr. Edwin Solly, promoted the health benefits of the “pure air” and sunny Rocky Mountain climate as the “world’s best suited therapeutic environment” for the treatment of tuberculosis. He also believed in the benefits of mineral spring water which drew tourists and the sick, particularly people with tuberculosis, to the area.
There are currently seven mineral springs that can be visited and utilized. Here are some details about the springs.
7 Minute Spring: Drilled to enhance the park of the Mansions Hotel in 1909, carbonation caused it to erupt at 7 minute intervals. It was re-drilled in the 1990’s and again in 2014.
Shoshone Spring: A natural spring with the highest levels of many minerals, Shoshone Spring was highly recommended by physicians of the 1800s for its curative uses before modern medicine.
Navajo Spring: Navajo Spring was near the Ute Pass Trail and was a rendezvous for indigenous peoples, explorers and early settlers. The fountain is located on the back outside wall of current-day Patsy’s Candies Store. The candy store was originally a sampling room for the bottling works.
Cheyenne Spring: The natural soda water of Cheyenne Spring was originally bottled at the Manitou Bottling Plant. The stone Manitou Spa Building was built around Cheyenne Spring in 1893. Today this spring is piped to the cast bronze font designed and built by sculptor Paul Rogers.
Wheeler Spring: Wheeler Spring was donated to the city by the family of Jerome Wheeler, one time president of Macy’s department store, mining and railroad magnate, banker, and chief promoter. He was also the past president of the Manitou Mineral Bottling Company.
Stratton Spring: Drilled by the Stratton Foundation during the Depression as a service to the town, this popular spring stands at the intersection of indigenous trails, the historic trolley lines, and the modern highway system.
Iron Spring Geyser: Once the most popular spring in Manitou, thousands of health-seekers would travel to Ruxton Ave. to drink the iron waters. The current spring was drilled by a local entrepreneur in 1910 and made wildly popular by adding orange and lemon flavoring.
Twin Spring: Twin Spring is the locals’ favorite spring for its sweet taste, calcium and potassium content and for making Manitou Lemonade or Manitou Mojitos. Originally two springs, Twin Spring now has been merged into one font.
And while you are here visiting the Manitou Mineral Springs, enjoy a stay at Rocky Mountain Lodge. We are just 10 minutes from Manitou Springs. Our Cascade Luxury Suite is the perfect place to stay after a night of hiking and exploring the Pikes Peak region.
Here is a map of the Mineral Springs so you can try them all out when you visit Manitou Springs, Colorado: