Hundreds of years ago, Indian tribes from the mountains and plains would gather in this little valley to pay homage to the healing and spiritual powers of the mineral springs. They believed the waters were a gift from the Great Spirit of Manitou.
Rainwater and snow melt from Pikes Peak soak into rock fractures and as the water penetrates to great depths it becomes mineralized. The water that flows from the springs is 20,000 years old and thus is totally free of contamination. Several of the springs are naturally carbonated and have a sweet taste. In the late 1880’s developers created the resort of Manitou Springs to provide the popular water therapies. Doctors would write prescriptions for their patients to drink the waters of certain springs because each spring has a different mineral content and supposedly will cure or help various ailments. There are 11 springs, 9 public and 2 private. The water is free to everyone.
The Seven Minute Spring, located in a nice little park, is a popular one as we often see people filling their jugs of water here. The taste is slightly sweet and carbonated. Molly likes this one.
Shoshone Springs is probably the most visited since it’s situated in the center of town where most of the tourist traffic is. Unfortunately this water is about the worst tasting. Molly won’t even take a sip no matter how thirsty she is.
Stratton Springs is in front of The Loop Mexican restaurant and has a nice little statue of a girl above the water. We haven’t tasted this one yet.
Twin Spring was originally two drilled springs and is now merged into one. Locals consider this water to be the best tasting, as it is sweet and carbonated and good for making lemonade. It’s also high in potassium and calcium. I doubt most tourists notice Twin Spring as it’s on Ruxton Ave (on the way to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway) attached to the side of a vacant building that is for sale.
Wheeler Spring was roped off yesterday when we walked by which is unusual. We have tasted this water previously and didn’t care for it. The post office is to the right behind this spring.
The Manitou Spa building was recently renovated into loft apartments with shops and a restaurant on the bottom floor. The Soda Springs is in the foyer inside but so far isn’t running for some reason that I am unaware of. There is an old rumor that Indians cursed this site because the spring had been enclosed in a structure. Soda Springs is one of the two private springs.
Molly’s favorite water is from the water bowls that several of the shop owners put out for the dogs.
We’ll try and cover the rest of the springs in our next post.