Caves in Colorado

Colorado is home to hundreds of caves, most of which are known only to local caving clubs (grottos). Here we list the major (longest, deepest, most visited or otherwise most well known) caves that have a publicly known location.

Cave of the Winds

A long stalactite hanging from the ceiling of the Cave of The Winds.
A long stalactite hanging from the ceiling of the Cave of The Winds. Photo credit: https://manitousprings.org/

Name: Cave of the Winds

Location: at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, 100 Cave of the Winds Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829 (click to see on map)

Features: The cave has many stalactites and calcite deposits, giving the cave system a complex and intricate look. Cave of the Winds is a commercial cave system, maintained by the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park. All caving in Cave of Winds is done in the form of guided tours and thus it is prohibited to go spelunking individually on your own.

Caving difficulty: Very Easy to Easy. The Park offers three different guided tours, the first two of which are suitable even for small children. By taking the hardest tour, named “Caving 101”, you will need to crawl and get your clothes muddy but you probably won’t need any prior caving experience. You can look at all three tours in more detail here, their web page contains information about what you should wear and other requirements.

Cave map (survey): Not available. If you have one let us know in the comments!

Fairy Cave/Glenwood Caverns

Stalactites in Glenwood Caverns.
Stalactites in Glenwood Caverns. Photo credit: locosteve at Flickr.com

Name: Glenwood Caverns, historically known as Fairy Cave

Location: at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 (click to see on map)

Features: The cave is rich in both stalactites and stalagmites as well as calcite/mineral deposits, resulting in interesting and exquisite formations all over the cave system. Just like Cave of the Winds in the previous section, Glenwood Caverns/Fairy Cave is a commercial cave which is maintained by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. All caving in Glenwood Caverns is done in the form of guided tours and thus it is prohibited to go spelunking individually on your own.

Caving difficulty: Very Easy to Easy/Intermediate. The Park offers three different guided tours. The first two tours offer just slight exertion and mainly consist of walking. The most difficult tour of the three, named “Wild Cave Tour”, can be considered a bit more challenging where you have to spend a fair amount of time either on your knees or belly. The tightest squeeze in the “Wild Cave Tour” has the area of 12 square inches.

Cave map (survey): Not available. If you have one let us know in the comments!

Fixin’-To-Die Cave

Hanging Lake deep within Fixin'-to-Die.
Hanging Lake deep within Fixin’-to-Die. Photo credit: Reddit user shatteredankle, thread here.

Name: Fixin’-To-Die Cave

Location: near Glenwood Canyon, in one of the surrounding canyons to the north just outside of Dotsero. (click for location of a nearby campsite)

Features: The second longest cave in Colorado (after Groaning Cave), Fixin’-To-Die is over 4 miles in surveyed length and still being surveyed and explored. Fixin’-To-Die features several mazes, pits, and an underground lake (the Hanging Lake) which is not easy or quick to find unless you know your way to it already.

Caving difficulty: Hard. The entry to the cave requires ropework, the cave itself has some tight passages.

Cave map (survey):

3D-rendering of Fixin'-To-Die cave
3D-rendering of Fixin’-To-Die cave. Photo credit: resurgentsoftware.com

Fulford Cave

Underground creek in Fulford Cave.
Underground creek in Fulford Cave. Photo Credit: Ari Rothberg @ awayn.com

Name: Fulford Cave

Location: near Basalt, CO 81621, and Eagle, CO 81621 (click to see on map)

Features: Unlike some other larger Colorado caves, Fulford Cave has “just” about a mile of passage, but also unlike some other Colorado caves (the location of which is often kept a secret by local caving clubs), Fulford Cave is a very popular caving destination. As a result, it displays some damage from people taking geological trinkets or simply vandalizing its formations. It is still an awesome sight with its pits, formations, an underground creek and some high rooms sporting 80-foot ceilings.

Fulford Cave is closed annually from October 15 – April 15. To visit, you will also need to register on-line and follow gear & clothes decontamination procedure to exclude a threat of Nose-white Syndrome disease lethal to local bat species.

Caving difficulty: Intermediate. The cave itself isn’t too challenging, but very cold at 40 degrees so staying put (in the case of an injury, for example) becomes dangerous so dress accordingly and bring heat blankets/packs.

Cave map (survey):

Fulford cave map.
Fulford cave map.

To be added soon:

  • Groaning Cave
  • Hubbard’s Cave
  • Huccacove (Hucacode) Cave
  • Premonition Cave
  • Spanish Cave
  • Spring Cave
  • Twenty Pound Tick Cave

Note: This post is about major caves in Colorado. To see information about major caves in other states, see our master list of caves in the United States.

Note: We do our best to keep the information here up do date but if something has changed (e.g. the cave is now open or closed to the public, collapsed, etc.) or if a cave you know should be here, please let us know in the comments!

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