The town of Manitou Springs, Colorado,gets its name from Manitou, the healing spirit the Native Americans believed was part of the area’s abundant mineral springs. As the town grew up around these effervescent springs, people continued to use the water to treat all sorts of ailments at the many resorts and spas that popped up in the early 20th century.
There are eight distinct natural mineral springs in town, each of which is publicly accessible and has a slightly different taste. The individual springs are scattered throughout the town, but it’s worth it to wander around and sample what each has to offer.
Except for Iron Spring, all of the springs are a fairly easy walk from each other. Walking in the order given here, the trek between 7-Minute spring and Twin springs is one mile. Adding Iron Spring brings the trip to 1.4 miles.
7 Minute Spring: This spring gets its name from the fact that when it was drilled, it produced a “geysering event” every seven minutes. It has the lightest, least mineral taste of all of the springs and is located near a gazebo in 7-Minute Spring Park.
Shoshone Spring: This spring is located in downtown Manitou Springs and has its font on the side of a round building circled by sculptures from local artists. The water boasts the highest mineral content of any of the downtown springs and has a very strong, but not unpleasant mineral taste.
Navajo Spring: Located on the back wall of Patsy’s Candy & Gift Shop, this spring has a salty, bubbly taste, second lightest after the 7-minute spring. It’s easy to miss, but follow the Navajo Spring signs painted in red on the columns behind the candy shop.
Cheyenne Spring: This spring’s font is a tall, bronze sculpture situated next to a round building which houses the actual spring. The taste is strong but with slightly less mineral quality than water at Shoshone.
Wheeler Spring: This is one of the springs located away from the center of town, near the Eastern corner of Soda Springs Park. This spring is named for Jerome B. Wheeler, who built the mineral water bottling plant and the town clock. The water here tastes saltier than many of the other springs.
Stratton Spring: This spring is next to the large traffic circle in the middle of town. It’s part of a bronze and stone sculpture of a woman gathering water. The water is very effervescent and has a higher mineral taste than Twin Spring, but less than Shoshone Spring.
Twin Spring: This spring has such sweet water locals even use it to make lemonade. It’s the most difficult to locate unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Its fount is a small sculpture located on the front wall of a yoga shop.
Know Before You Go
Bring something to collect the water in and a map to help you find each spring