Colorado Guy
The Manitou Incline - Manitou Springs, Colorado

A Very Steep Climb and Rewarding Hike In Manitou Springs

Manitou Incline

Looking for that amazing workout that will really get your heart pumping? Look no further than the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs!

The Manitou Incline is a 0.9 mile grade that once served people riding an incline car up Mt. Manitou to enjoy the beautiful view of the plains and city of Colorado Springs. In the early 1990's, the incline operation closed but the path and ties remain, and over time it become a popular spot for hikers, Olympic trainers or anyone serious about getting into shape.

Directions: From Manitou Springs, take Ruxton Avenue (off of Manitou Avenue) west toward the mountains. Keep in mind parking can be very limited in this area and is a very sensitive issue. The actual incline begins close to the Cog Railway parking lot. Do not park in the Cog Railway parking area. Either park in the Barr Trail lot or park farther downhill along Ruxton Avenue. Some park near the center of town and walk entirely up Ruxton Avenue. If you are a purist (like me) and must do the entire incline, you will see the incline's beginning on the edge of the Cog Railway parking lot. There is also a trail in the small Barr Trail parking area that reaches up to the incline as well.

When I lived in Manitou Springs, I hiked the Manitou Incline many times. Below is a modest picture collection of the time Lisa and I reached the top in March 2002.

All the best,
Steve

Pikes Peak and Manitou Incline Throughout much of Colorado Springs, if you have a good view of Pikes Peak to the east, you will likely see the "scar" of the Manitou Incline. Here's the best picture I have of the Manitou Incline, a shot of Pikes Peak while standing in Garden of the Gods. See the line going up the mountain? That's the old Manitou Incline Railway line that has been out of service for maybe 10 years, but the tracks are still there. Great for climbing and getting into shape! :)
Manitou Incline
My Hike In March 2002

The beginning of the incline.

Much of the land of your hike is privately owned, and you might see signs along the way that remove liability if people continue to go uphill.

Lisa on the Manitou Incline That's Lisa who went with me ... special thanks goes to her for putting up with my complaining on the way up! I was so lazy! :)
Manitou Incline View After traveling up for awhile, a view looking back down. You can see this vertical line from many areas east - I distinctly remember seeing it as far east as Platte Avenue & Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs.
Steve and his water bottle
Water Bottle
After Lisa, my water bottle was undoubtedly my best friend out there!

Trust me, the Manitou Incline is no walk in the park!

A few of my Manitou pages:

  • Williams & Waldo Canyon
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Shoshone Spring
  • Red Mountain
  • Old Railroad Grade
  • Manitou Mineral Spring Water

    Also, my climb of Pikes Peak via Barr Trail:

  • 2002 Pikes Peak Hike
  • Manitou Incline About two-thirds of the way up by then.
    Manitou Incline There were many steep parts, but this particular stretch was a killer!
    Lisa At the top, Lisa and I were quite happy.
    Pikes Peak At the top, you have two options: Go back down the steep incline that you just traveled up or take a spur trail that leads down to Barr Trail. (The Barr Trail heads back down to Manitou Springs where you started.) Most people usually just take the trail down, but there are a few hardcore types who will go down the incline.

    Adjacent Photo: I was impressed with how large and close the peak appeared from our location.

    Cameron Cone Looking to the south and southwest offered grand views!
    Cameron Cone This pointed peak, by the way, is known as Cameron Cone.
    Manitou Incline One last shot of the Manitou Incline. As I stood from the very top, I looked down at hikers working their way up.

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