The Incline Trail

HARD 1,074 reviews

The Incline Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Manitou Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1860 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

no dogs

The trail is the remains of a cog railway that went to the top of Manitou Mountain. The trail gains about 2000 feet of elevation in about a mile. Imagine climbing a rough uneven set of stairs that's a mile long. There is a bail out about half way up that will put you on Barr Trail. Beware of the false summit just past the bail out. Once you're at the top you can hike back down the incline, or turn south and hike or run back down Barr Trail. The view from the top over Colorado Springs is worth the effort. This is a great trail for training and it is what most people use it for.

trail running
3 days ago

Incline is quite the feat. One of my favorite trails to hike up, then with a beautifully rewarding 3 mile (approx) run down Barr Trail. First timers: Take your time going up, take deep controlled breaths, and stop as often as needed. Think "nice and easy" and you'll expand your energy the whole way, as opposed to exerting all your effort 5 minutes at a time and taking longer breaks. There is an obvious bailout about halfway that allows you to take the trail down if needed. Otherwise, Barr Trail will take you from the top of the incline, back to the bottom. It's about 3 miles, so it take some time. Including your trek up the incline, this can be a lengthy hike. Average is 3+ hours round trip. Though it's faster to trek back down the incline, I don't recommend this to anyone, your legs are tired, and going down is a knee waiting to blow out. Many still do it, I've done it, but not worth it in my opinion. So bring some water, trail mix, and don't expect a leisurely hike. It's incredibly fun, and beautiful, and very rewarding. I would suggest this hike to almost anyone! Bring a headlamp if you're starting in the later afternoon. Because you're on the east face/side of the mountain, and the sun sets in the west, the sun dips behind the peaks of Pike Nation Forest about an hour before 'actual sunset' I'd say. Relative to Incline trail/manitou springs. Good luck!

4 days ago

Great Workout. Our FL lungs were definitely feeling the elevation. Make sure you bring plenty of water. Went early so not as many people on the way up. On the way down had more traffic around 10am. 5$ parking at the bottom.

Difficult, but totally worth it!

hiking
10 days ago

What an amazing hike! It was definitely a challenge due to breathing less physical but loved every minute!

10 days ago

It was tough but so worth it!

A brutal one. First climb, and I get a nice "Welcome to Colorado" with this challenging climb. Beautiful, and worth the challenge.
Open year round, I'll be back! ❤️

hiking
13 days ago

Awesome workout! The view and the feeling of accomplishment at the top are worth it! People run down the backside in happy bliss... well at least I did!! And then you can go hang out in the colorful town of Manitou Springs!! (And drink.... (no not what you are thinking) artesian water! Check out this article on the “healing waters.” http://www.theworldisabook.com/14043/tasting-manitou-springs-mineral-waters/

15 days ago

Awesome hike. Be aware that there is no parking on the street near the incline on the weekend. You can either reserve parking at Barr Trail (not cheap) or park in Manitou’s free parking and take the shuttle (also free) to the trail head.

hiking
19 days ago

It’s maybe one of the toughest things ever as a newer fitness person, but incredibly rewarding and a gorgeous view! I did it in the summer and am eager to do it again this winter.

hiking
25 days ago

Nice trail !! Amazing view

27 days ago

It's a challenge.

1 month ago

last weeekend. def recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Getting to the top will challenge you mentally and physically. Come prepared to hurt and feel accomplished when you get to the top

hiking
1 month ago

Do it... it's a Colorado Springs rite of passage.

1 month ago

The mental challenge. I recommend, the view is amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail and the best exercise. I’ll do it again.

1 month ago

Hurt so good!

hiking
1 month ago

The immense feeling of accomplishment when completing this is great! It’s a struggle for sure, this was my first time but after pushing though until the end I can’t wait to go a 2nd time!

hiking
1 month ago

So happy its open going for my 9th time Wednesday :). Found it by accident my first time and fell in love. Feels so good to complete.

1 month ago

Trail reopened this week. They did a great job with new drainage and steps. I took the Barr trail down, it is a lot nicer on an old guys knees.

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