Manitou Incline

So, I’ve been offline with my blogs for quite awhile. I’m trying to get back into things, so have lots to catch up on. Barely know where to start.

After moving to Colorado a couple years back, there are of course some things that are required to explore. One of them I checked out was the Manitou Incline. It’s located near Colorado Springs and it’s an ascent just shy of one mile, has over 2,000 feet of elevation and just over 2,700 steps/stairs. None of those steps are of the same height or level. Also, the average grade is 45%, max grade is 68%, per Trail and Summit. More great info and stats about the Incline can of course be found on Wikipedia.

I visited this grandiose location for the first time in late August. After parking I found somebody who looked like a local and asked if she had any tips for summitting these thousands of steps. She told me “Whatever you do, don’t stop. If you need to, slow down, just don’t stop. Otherwise you won’t want to restart.” Noted.

I made my way to the base, saw all the signs telling people they are in crazy danger, etc, etc and off I went. Of course it’s not bad at the start (elevation of 6,600 feet) but then it just changes as the step height changes (and I’m not super tall) and the elevation increases.


There is also a crazy false summit about 2/3 of the way up. I don’t totally love stairs so it was all just a very interesting climb, considering it was less than a mile. Finally made it to the top, at 8,590 feet of elevation. The views were great, I was happy to have done it! Then I took the leisurely couple mile hike down the Barr Trail to return to my car.

I’ve gone back two times since my first and now aim to set PRs. Each time I have gotten a little faster (closer and closer to 45 minutes, within seconds). It all depends on if it’s sunny, windy, hot, etc. I did it once in November when there was some snow on (some of) the steps but still blazing sun. Once in the summer with lots of people. Always fun to see what different times of year bring. Have yet to do it in full winter.