Manitou Incline

Tourist Cable Car Track Turned Heart-Pounding Workout!

*Please Note* 

The Manitou Incline will close beginning August 19, 2017, for extensive renovations and upgrades to the trail. Phase 3 improvements to Mt. Manitou Incline will finish mid-December. Please check back for the reopening date.

About The Manitou Incline

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 to bring guests to the top of the foothills for a spectacular view of Colorado Springs and the eastern plains.

A rock slide damaged a section of track in 1990, so the Manitou Springs Incline was closed down. The rails were removed, but the railroad ties remained in the form of a massive staircase. Locals started using it for a challenging 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 line. Now, due to cooperations among private and public entities, it is legal to climb the Incline. It is known as one of, if not the most, popular and challenging, hikes in the Colorado Springs area.

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Altitude Gain: 2,000 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  
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking:  Parking is limited in the Incline Parking lot and along Ruxton. Parking options include the reservation only lot, or take advantage of the parking in the lot by the Tahine Restaurant in Manitou Springs where you can then take the free shuttle the Incline trailhead.
  • Dogs: No dogs are allowed on the Incline. This trail is not safe for even the most athletic dogs. The extreme exertion required is too hard on their little hearts, lungs and paws!
  • 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.

Advanced Hikers Only

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.

Hiking Back Down on Barr Trail

About three-quarters of the way up, the Manitou Incline intersects with Barr Trail and you can take that way back down if you'd like. Don't be fooled by the false summit. After you crest it, there are still approximately 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.

Get The Incline App

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.

More Colorado Springs activities you may be inclined to try:

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