The Ever Popular, and Always Challenging Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline is a very popular, and super steep hiking trail rising above Manitou Springs (just a few miles from Colorado Springs).
The Manitou Incline is the remains of a former narrow gauge funicular railway whose tracks were washed out during a rock slide in 1990. The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, as steep as 68% in places, making it a fitness challenge for both locals and visitors to the area. The Incline gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile. Since its closure as a railway in 1990, the trail has steadily grown in popularity as a hiking trail and fitness challenge. The base of the Incline sits at 6,600 feet. Currently the Incline has approximately 2,744 steps from the bottom to the summit however the number of steps changes occasionally with trail maintenance and deterioration. The Manitou Incline is considered one of the highest sets of stairs in the world! This trail is recommended for physically active people and those who have had time to adjust to the elevation. Needless to say, this hike isn’t for the faint of heart or heights. This trail is rated Extreme. Still interested? Make sure you are prepared....please READ THIS.
Reservations are currently required to hike the Manitou Incline and can be made at the Manitou Incline page on the City of Colorado Springs website.
The start of the Incline is located in Manitou Springs near the base of the Barr Trailhead and small, parking lot on Hydro Street and across the street from the Pikes Peak Cog Railway on Ruxton Avenue.
The best options for parking are parking at the free lot near Memorial Park and taking the free shuttle (#33 Shuttle from Hiawatha Gardens) or parking at the Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama. Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama is $10 peak season and $5 off season. The small Barr trailhead parking lot on Hydro Street is $10 per day. The parking on Ruxton Avenue is very limited and the parking pay kiosks only take credit card and not cash.
Detailed information of how to get to this trail, where to park and how it connects to the larger network of trails in this area are detailed on POCKET PALS Trail Map #5 of the Pikes Peak Region series. All Pocket Pals Trail Maps offer very detailed information for each trail including: trail distances, allowed trail uses, difficulty levels, elevation profiles, total ascent/descent, directions to trailhead, trailhead longitude and latitude, and waypoints (landmarks along each trail).