The Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline

     The West Side of Colorado Springs is full of fun and tons of outdoor activities with a particular challenge many have come to rock! A hiking trail that consists of 2,744 steps up an incline with an elevation gain of over 2000ft in less than a miles length – the Manitou Incline! This trail is considered to be one of extreme difficulty and not for the faint of heart! Are you up for the challenge?

     The trail is estimated to see roughly 70,000 visitors a YEAR with ages ranging from 7 all the way to 70. If you are getting ready to hike this massive trail up the mountain—be prepared to spend at least an hour and know if you need medical attention, responders may take 3 to 4 hours to get up to you on the incline. Be prepared with plenty of water, proper footwear, snacks, and sunscreen! Pets are not allowed on this trail, so be sure to leave the fur babies at home for this hike. It is also strongly encouraged to let your body acclimate to the elevation before you take the hike; so if you’re visiting the area for the first time, save the hike for the end of your trip instead of at the beginning! Again—this trail is extremely difficult, so use your best judgement if you think you are ready or not to tackle this hike!

     If you do start the trail and find you can’t make it all the way to the top, that’s okay, you can take an exit on the false summit where the Barr Trail crosses the Manitou Incline. This is about 2/3 the way up the trail. It is also strongly encouraged that on your trip back down the trail, to use the Barr Trail instead of trekking
down the steep incline (that’s a long way to fall down should you miss a step!)

     The hike itself is FREE to all patrons, but you may have to pay for parking depending on how you choose to get to the incline. You can park for free at the Hiawatha Gardens Parking lot and walk about 1.3 miles before you reach the base of the incline OR you may park for a small fee and use a shuttle service to the trail.

     Currently, the trail is open but due to Covid-19, a reservation is required to hike the trail. The reservation is completely free to make and are available from 6am to 6pm each day. Reservations are limited to 45 people every 30 minutes, a precaution used to limit the amount of people at one day due to the pandemic. You can make your reservations HERE Up to seven days in advance. Once you make your reservation, keep your confirmation number to show the City of Colorado Springs staff upon entry to the trail. You’ll receive a wristband that must be worn the entirety of your time on the trail.

     So do you think you’re ready for the Manitou Incline? Have you already knocked this trial off your bucket list and ready to go again? We hope you enjoy your time in the mountains on this difficult and fun hike! Remember to be safe, take your precautions, and if you have any questions at all, please let us know! We are here to help you!