5 Reasons Why The Manitou Springs Incline Is One Of Colorado's Most Epic Hikes

After being purchased by Dr.

After being purchased by Dr. Brumbach and turned into a tourist attraction. The incline boasted a 16 minute ride to “scenic splendors”, 10 miles of hiking trails in Mount Manitou Park, and claimed to be the “longest and highest incline on the globe.” And now is one of the quad-burning, legs-quivering, heart-pounding intense workout with a vertical elevation gain of 2,000 feet in just a mile.

The Incredible views of Garden of the Gods and Colorado Springs

With the views from the top, the effort getting there is definitely worth it. The top of the Manitou Incline is 8,550 feet with one of the best views of the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, and Manitou Springs.

The Bailout Point

This is about 0.6 miles up the Incline. So it you are feeling like you can not make it to the top, you can go onto the Barr Trail back to the bottom. But if you continue up the mountain, you will hit the steepest and most harshest part of the Incline vertical elevation gain in a mile

Originally the Manitou Incline was a 1 mile cable car railway. In 1990 the rails were removed and wooden tiles were put in place to prevent erosion. Now those wooden tiles are used for those to brave enough to make the hike.

Winning Bragging Rights

The fastest time for completing this harsh climb, is 17-19 minutes (the unofficial record being 17 minutes.) But getting to the top under an hour is very ambitious since it already starts at 6,530 ft and the average completion rate is about 41 percent. It doesn’t matter how long you take, if you make it to the top of this climb, you totally deserve the bragging rights.

The False Summit

Beware of the false summit. When you are see it from the bottom you will think you are almost to the Bailout point. Right after the Bailout Point, you will most definitely catch yourself counting your steps, with the grade being over 68%.Once you hit the false summit you only have 300 steps more to go though!

The Trail Run Down

Because of the trail’s mass of people also hiking the Incline and the steepness, it is best to go down the Barr Trail. It is a little bit longer that the Incline but is way better on your knees. There is a spot on the Barr Trail where you go go either left or right. Left taking you back to the Incline. Right takes you down the switchbacks, twists, and turns of the Barr Trail.

Pro tips:

  • Make sure you take plenty of water. In Colorado’s dry climate you can dehydrate very quickly.
  • Pace yourself.
  • There is no shade on the Incline, so wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • There is paid parking close to the trailhead near the Cog Railway parking lot off of Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs.
  • The Incline will be crowded on weekends. Either go very early or hike the Incline on a weekday.
  • Dogs are allowed on the trails that connect to the Incline, but NOT allowed on the 1-mile Incline Trail.
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