Yesterday, Melisa and I took a trip up to Manitou Springs to do the "Incline." For the uninitiated, the Manitou Incline is an abandoned rail line that runs up the side of a mountain just west of Colorado Springs. For several years, it became an unofficial trail (it was actually trespassing) that has lured hikers, endurance athletes, and just about anyone else who wants a challenge. It is a little over a mile long and gains 2,000 feet. The average grade on the incline is 40%. You can read all of the nitty, gritty details here.
|I found this graphic which demonstrates nicely the height of the Incline relative to some other tall locales.|
We got a late start and didn't wind up getting onto the trail until mid-morning. By this point it was fairly hot which added to the challenge of the climb. Fortunately, as we gained altitude, we were greeted by a refreshing breeze which helped a great deal. Still, an early morning or a cooler day would be preferable. As you climb, you will see all kinds of folks on the incline. Some are running, others are hiking, and plenty are just plain sucking wind.
|A couple of climbers making their way up the last few steps.|
For our trip, we took our time and stopped along the climb. It took us well over an hour to make it to the top, but we weren't in any rush either. Instead of climbing back down the incline, we took the Barr Trail. The trail is about 2.9 miles (the sign says different) but involves more switchbacks and fewer steep descents.
|All Smiles after reaching the top!|
|Looking back down the trail from the top|