The Incline outside Manitou Springs is a one-mile vertical hike—straight up. Over the course of that mile you gain 2,000 feet in elevation.
The steep climb along old cable car tracks is one of the most popular “tough” workouts in the area. Depending on your fitness level it can take between 40 minutes to 2 hours to get to the top, or longer. You can climb up on foot; no climbing equipment is necessary. However, spikes are recommended in the Winter months, especially for the descent.
There is a false summit located 2/3 of the way up and the trail is visible from all around Colorado Springs. The Incline connects with Barr Trail at the summit, which will continue 21 miles to the 14,000-foot summit of Pikes Peak, or back down to Manitou Springs. Descending on Barr Trail is highly recommended as going back down the Incline is dangerous.
Know Before You Go
The Incline is now available by reservation only online. Located outside of Manitou Springs. Go on highway 24 West to the last Exit for Manitou Springs on Serpentine Drive. Turn left (away from Cave of the Winds) onto Serpentine Drive which will descend quickly and end at Manitou Avenue. Limited paid parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis and fills quickly. Alternatively, there is a free shuttle that runs every 20 minutes daily from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. from a free parking lot at 10 Old Mans Trail, Manitou Springs 80829. Be hydrated, take whatever you might think you need because there is nowhere on the trail to get anything. Not even a bathroom. The Incline is located in a residential area.