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Hike The Manitou Incline In Manitou Springs, CO

Home to more 14ers than any other state in US, Colorado boasts some of the most amazing hiking, climbing and backpacking trips in the country.

But during my extensive travels, I haven't done a hike as unique, challenging, and beautiful as the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, CO.

The once railroad track now consists of approximately 2,744 steps made entirely of railroad ties! Although it’s only one mile in length, the ascension averages a 41% incline (68% at its highest) and a 2,000 foot climb in elevation! That’s a lot of stairs! That’s even more than the Empire State Building!

Needless to say, this hike isn't for the faint of heart, or heights. The Manitou Incline is considered one of the highest sets of stairs in the world! This trail is rated Extreme. It's nothing less than a staircase up a mountain. 

They say you haven't experienced Colorado if you haven't climbed a 14er.

My original plan was to take the famous Cog Train to the top of one of the most beautiful 14er in Colorado - Pikes Peak.
Unfortunately, on the day of my visit, due to the weather conditions, the railway was closed. And though one can reach the peak through a 13 mile hike, I went "the easy way", and opted for the Incline ( Cog  Railway and the Incline are very close , and share the same parking lot ).

I won't describe the brutality of the hike, just will mention that it takes an average 1 hour and a half to get to the top.

But once you're there, you're rewarded not just with the amazing views, but also with the sense of pride and personal achievement.

Tip: Not sure what is harder to go up the Incline or down. The uneven, sometime wet ties make it hard on your knees.

That's why it's recommended to take the connecting Barr Trail on your way down. Though it might be easier ( and even more adventurous : a deer jumped right in front of me, and posed for a memorable picture ), it's also longer.

In general, the Manitou Incline made a huge impression on me ! It looks amazing on pictures, and will make you feel amazing once you're on the top !

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