Starting Elevation: 6530 Ft
Highest Elevation: 8550 Ft
Trail Length: We did the Standard loop so 3.7 miles
Trail Uses: Hiking only up the incline
Degree of Difficulty: Strenuous
Bathroom: Yes in the parking lot
Pets: Supposed to be no dogs but there were lots and off leash too and 2 almost knocked me down no owner in sight.
Fees: Yes – $5 when we went last April but I suspect it may go up or already has.
It has been over a year since I posted last and I actually started writing this post way back when we did the hike. I had kinda forgot about the blog except to look up hikes or show friends hikes I thought they might like, but I got my renewal notice a few weeks ago and today I realized I need new motivation to get back on the healthy bandwagon.
A lot has happened over the last year but through it all we never stopped hiking. Last Fall I had a bad hip injury that kept me on flat short hikes for about 4 months but I started taking photography classes to help keep up my spirits. I have been very slowly working on getting back to climbing since the beginning of the year and had one big set back that was very depressing.
The super bummer, while injured I gained back a lot of weight. So I am going to try this again. I am going to Germany next week and then when I get back I am full on back to hiking to healthy I have at least a dozen new hikes to write up and I am back at 60 pounds I have to lose to get to my goal. I am not sure how I will continue with the format, if I will do a weigh in separate from hikes or combine them. I see wordpress has changed a lot since I was on last so I have lots of new learning to do.
I will also try to show off some of my new photography skills and I am super excited about that. Another motivation to get back to writing. Thanks to all of you who have kept checking out the blog while I have been gone, I hope to get reacquainted with the blogging world.
Now on to this particular hike.
On Easter 2015, since I couldn’t be home with my family I was lucky enough to go on a hiking date with my hiking superheros, Wendy and Didier.
They patiently took us too the Manitou Incline which is known all over the place as straight up torture. In the first mile you climb straight up 2000 vertical feet. It is used regularly by the Olympic athletes that train very close by and lots of fitness enthusiasts.
We started just before sunrise and thought that since it was Easter it might be less crowded, but in fact the it was lit up with lots of headlamps ahead of us.
It is essentially a giant staircase that we were climbing with a couple hundred other people and I know for a fact that it was a light crowd that day. There is a bail out about half way up, and it gets evermore steep after that. Also the steps aren’t at even height so I often found myself using both my hands and feet to climb it like a ladder at its steepest point.
Once you get to the top, it is amazing views of Colorado Springs and beyond and Sunrise was gorgeous.
Once at the top and you have finished celebrating with lots of selfies, take the Barr trail down. Do not go back down the incline it is so steep and people fall and get hurt all the time. The Barr trail was updated as well and it an easy decent back to the parking lot. As I recall it is about 3 miles down.
All in all, I feel like you have to do the Incline at least once in your life. The number of people doing it is so crazy that I honestly never want to do it again. It is great exercise for sure and a great way to get into climbing shape, maybe just go during the week when there are less people. I would also go as early as possible and start that one hour before sunrise as it is exposed and can be very warm.
A few more pictures will follow the directions.
Directions( copied from the website http://www.manitouincline.net ::
The easiest way to reach the trailhead is to take highway 24 West to the last Exit for Manitou Springs on Serpentine Drive. This is also the stoplight for the Cave of the Winds. Turn left (away from Cave of the Winds)onto Serpintine Drive which will descend quickly and end at Manitou Avenue. Veer left onto Manitou Aveneue and follow it to a roundabout(rotary). Exit the roundabout on Ruxton Ave heading southwest towards the Cog Railway. The trailhead is located just west of the Iron Springs Theater. Parking is usually difficult to find. Trying to find a close spot usually just results in a lot of wasted time. Just think of your walk to the trailhead as your warm up.
The standard route no longer begins in the Barr Trail parking lot. This parking lot is to be used for the Barr trail alone, access to the trail is now to be from near the old Manitoul Incline Base Station and incline hikers should park on Ruxton Ave.
Do NOT park in the parking spots for the Cog Railway. They will tow you. If you really want a close spot you can pay to park in the Iron Springs Theater parking spots. Last I saw it was $5 to park there.