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Taste the Waters that Named Colorado Springs

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Have you ever wondered how Colorado Springs got its name? The answer is flowing straight from the earth under Manitou Springs. Just six miles west of downtown Colorado Springs, in the quaint artists' enclave, eight mineral springs gush forth, and you can visit them all. Potable, and open to the public, each spring will be sure to refresh and inspire.

All eight springs are said to exhibit their own distinctive flavor and effervescence despite rising from a similar source. As rainwater and snowmelt from Pikes Peak and surrounding mountains soak into rock fractures, the water penetrates to a great depth where it becomes heated and mineralized. Since warm water naturally flows up, it pushes through limestone where it becomes carbonated and seeks an escape. It’s a journey that takes thousands of years to complete, but it’s that time that guarantees it to be free from industrial and atmospheric contamination.

The same eight springs that you can drink from today were once considered healing waters, as the great tribes of the plains and the Mountain Utes paid homage to their spiritual powers centuries ago, believing them to be a gift from the Great Spirit “Manitou”. Today, the Mineral Springs Foundation offers walking tours on Saturdays during the summer beginning right in downtown Manitou Springs. We’ve detailed your eight stops below:

Seven Minute Spring was drilled to enhance the park of a large hotel at the site in 1909. Carbonation caused it to erupt at 7-minute intervals. It was redrilled in the 1990s and the surrounding park was developed.

Cheyenne Spring is a natural, sweet soda spring, from limestone aquifers a mile deep and is believed to be 20,000 years old.

Iron Spring Geyser is a drilled spring prescribed by early physicians for iron deficiencies. It was on the daily walk for 1800s health-seekers.

Navajo Spring can be found beneath the popcorn and candy store. It’s the natural soda spring that first attracted the Indians and settlers and led to the establishment of Manitou Springs. Its water supplied a large bath house and bottling plant. Water from this particular spring was famous across the nation.

Shoshone Spring, a natural spring with some sulfur, was highly recommended by physicians for its curative uses before modern medicines.
Stratton Spring was drilled by the Stratton Foundation as a service to the town. Its location marks a convenient spot along popular pedestrian and traffic routes in town that follow original Native American trails.

Twin Spring, originally two drilled springs that have since merged into one, is sought for its sweet taste, calcium, and potassium content.

Wheeler Spring, a drilled soda spring, was donated to the city by the family who owned Macy’s in New York City and resided in Manitou Springs where they were involved in local banking, mining, and railroads.

Thirsty yet? Make sure and stop by the Manitou Springs Visitor Center to pick up your free Mineral Springs brochure/map, detailed content chart, and sampling cup to sip as you stroll.