I first heard of the Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs 2 years ago when I decided to live here for a few months after my first foray hiking the Barr trail up Pikes Peak. I would run the weekly Wednesday night Jack Quinns 5K with her and one day she asked me if I had done the Incline yet? I had never heard of it, and when she said that it kicked her butt and was an amazingly painful workout, I knew I had to try it. So I did, and started doing it 3x a week.
So, its been awesome to be back in the (Colorado) Springs for a few weeks because it allows me to come back to one of my greatest loves in this world, the Manitou Incline.
Lets do this…
The Manitou Incline begins in the same parking lot as the Barr Trail. Except instead of getting on the Barr Trail, you find a well-used “unofficial unmarked trail” through the bush until you find a bed of old railroad ties running up the mountain.
The Incline used to be for a funicular railway that ran to the top of Pikes Peak but in 1990, the tracks got washed out in a rock slide. Leaving this amazing “trail” which at some points, has a grade as steep as 68%… what this means, is it’s a REAL glute burner and leg killer, sure to kick your a**.
As you’re hiking it, and your legs are starting to get tired, you think you see the summit…. and you push to the top…
Only to realize its a false summit and you’re only about half way up to the top. I once did this with one of my ex boyfriends…. and when he decided to quit instead of finishing the Incline, I knew we wouldn’t work out….
The Incline gains over 2000 feet of elevation in less than a mile. Its intense but its well worth the views when you finish:
My favorite way to do the Manitou Incline is to push without stopping as fast as I can all the way to the top, and then run 3 miles down the Barr trail… time myself each time, and then hopefully beat my previous record.
Oh yeah, lets not forget the quick phone call from the top to Adam’s Mountain Café to order a world burger to pick up after I finish my workout.
The Manitou Incline my friends, is one of my favorite things to do in the WORLD, and if you want a workout that will kick your ass time and time again, I highly recommend.