The Incline is located in Manitou Springs and is a stair climb, about 1 mile along an old cable tram line route at an average of about 40% grade up to 68% or so, 2,000+ ft of elevation gain and then another few miles along a trail back to the bottom, whew! We sure felt the burn!
It starts off at a more gradual grade but then gets steeper and steeper. It is definitely an intense workout, but if you take it at a steady pace it’s not so bad. There are some sections that are in better shape than others. Some of the steps are crooked and the height of each step is not consistent. It will actually be closing soon for awhile for some repairs to be done.
It’s easy enough to step off to the side in some areas for a breather, and you’ll see most people doing just that, so you don’t have to worry that everyone is smoking you. 😉 There are, however, some fantastically in shape folks that run up the Incline, and I have the highest regard for that!
There is a false summit on this hike as well. I heard someone mention that on the way up, so I was prepared, but I can see how that could be highly discouraging if you think you’ve made it and then see that there is more to go! There’s a nice view from the top but it’s scenic on the way up too if you take the time to turn around and look. Once we made it to the top, we took the Barr Trail back down. You could just walk down the incline itself, but to us it seemed a bit too precarious. The trail down is nice, just make sure to watch where the trail goes. We got slightly off trail at one point which made it much steeper going until we reconnected. It was a lot of work, but we really enjoyed the hike and would definitely recommend it!
Who: Make sure you can physically handle this intense hike and the effects of altitude if you’re not used to the elevation of this area, but we saw a wide variety of folks the day we went.
What: An intense hike along an old railway,about 1 mile of stairs at an average of about 40% grade up to 68% or so, 2,000+ ft of elevation gain.
Where: Manitou Springs, Colorado
When: Getting there early is probably best so you can get a parking spot and beat hotter weather or afternoon storms. Or wait until the evening if the weather is good. Since the Incline will be closed soon for repairs, double check online that it is open before going.
Why: It’s a great hike, great workout, and it’s just fun to be able to say you did it!
How: Once in Manitou Springs, you can park up near the Incline / Pikes Peak Cable Car if you can find a spot, along the road where allowed, or down in town. The walk up from town isn’t bad, or you could take the shuttle, but be warned that if the shuttle fills up before your stop you’ll have to wait for the next or ride it in the opposite direction all the way around. So we walked instead.