Mileage: 4 miles RT (1 mile to the top, 3 miles down on the Barr Trail)
Elevation Gain/Highest: 2160/8630ft
Favorite Eats After Hike: Pack A Cooler
As always, practice Leave No Trace. Pretty Please.
8/9/2016 Long before I had met my bf, I had pinned this hike in the event I ever was back in Colorado. After dating for while, turns out he grew up right down the street from it! Of course, he mentioned it was more of a touristy thing but that didn’t burst my bubble or make me want to do it any less.
The Manitou Incline follows the long ago decommissioned track of a cable car up the slope that is part of the ascent towards Pike Peak, a popular 14’er in Colorado. It used to be a route the locals took to work up a sweat but now people come from all over to test their endurance on its average 45% grade (sometimes as steep as 68%!). At 2160ft in just under a mile (.88 to be exact), it is NO joke.
We decided to attempt it on our way out of town (to counterbalance time spent sitting in the car). In order to beat the crowds and heat, we arrived and started our ascent by 7am.
There were still plenty of people, I can’t imagine what it would be like later in the day. As per the normal when we hike all together, the boys and my bf were quick to leave the rest of us behind in their dust.
We didn’t do too bad, all of us making it to the top in about 45 minutes. I won’t lie, I stopped multiple times. Oh, and did I mention there is a FALSE summit!
We took the Barr Trail down (much safer), which takes longer than you think as it actually includes switchbacks and shade. Not sure I need to do it again, but it sure was worth it!
Directions: Fly or drive to Colorado! Drive to the cute tourist town of Manitou Springs. The TH is located at 516 Ruxton Avenue behind the station for the Pikes Peak Cog Railway (there are signs through town). You can’t miss it, there will be a swarm of folks to follow. The hike is free but the parking lots charge. You can park in town at the city park and take a frequent free shuttle up, which is what we did. For more information on the Incline, click HERE.