Tourist Cable Car Track Turned Heart-Pounding Workout!
The Manitou Incline was originally built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak- America's Mountain. After the pipelines were finished, it was turned into a tourist attraction. A rock slide damaged a section of track in 1990, so the Manitou Springs Incline was closed down and the rails removed. Some locals started using it for a tough workout. Until February 2013, a portion of it was private property and it was illegal to hike up the ties of the old cable car. It is known as one of, if not the most popular and challenging, hikes in the Colorado Springs area.
In 2014, the Incline was closed for a few short months to undergo extensive repairs to the damaged sections of the trail. Now reopened to the public, the Incline is much safer and remains to be just as challenging, if not more so, for outdoor and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Length: 1 mile, but climbs 2,000 vertical feet.
Duration: Under 30 minutes to over an hour or more depending on your fitness level and pace.
Trail Difficulty: Difficult
Recommended for: Physically active, not ADA accessible
Parking: Parking is recommended within parking lots along Manitou Avenue- Then hike up Ruxton Avenue. Parking is limited and difficult to find along Ruxton. It is highly recommended to take the free shuttle service during the dates of May 18 - Sept. 24.
Dogs: No dogs allowed on the Incline
Hours of use: Dawn-Dusk, no night use permitted
Please be advised. It can take first responders up to 3-4 hours to get to you if you have a medical issue.
This is considered an extreme trail and is an advanced hike!
The Manitou Incline gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile. It's not for the faint of heart, but people from all walks (or climbs) of life have given it a go. It is, perhaps, the most unique and challenging trail in the country, attracting runners, Olympic athletes and cyclists from around the world. The trail is also used by military personnel and even soccer moms. More than anything, the Manitou Incline is famous for dishing out a tough workout. "I can’t think of any particular workout, route, or activity that forces you to push your boundaries quite like the Incline does," said Cameron Chambers, national mountain bike champion. "Redlined - that is the only word I can think of when describing the workout the Incline gives you."
Jim Caple of ESPN survived his first attempt of the vertically vicious climb in July of 2012.
For a successful experience, consult your physician, bring plenty of water and energy snacks and be sure you've adjusted to the high altitude of Colorado Springs (6,035 ft) before you attempt this trail. Pace yourself and rest when you need to.
About three-quarters of the way up, the Manitou Incline intersects with Barr Trail and you can take that way back down if you like. Don't be fooled by the false summit. After you crest it, there are still about 300 steps to go. Once you've made it to the top - or rather if you make it to the top - you can hike down the bottom four miles of the Barr Trail. Downhill use of the Incline is strongly discouraged.
It's a true Colorado workout that is enjoyed by many. Give it a try, if you are inclined!
Track your time and rank against other Manitou Incline users and win rewards for completing this tough workout with the Incline App.
For more detailed information and updates, visit the Incline Friends website.