The Manitou Incline is open. All users are required to make a free reservation online before their hike.
- Reservations are available 6 a.m.–6 p.m., daily
- You can reserve more than one slot at a time, however, please only reserve days and times you plan to use. You may also reserve a time slot for another user, but please limit group reservations to four hikers per time slot.
- Up to 35 reservations are available for each 30-minute time slot. After August 21, the capacity will be increased to 45 people every 30 minutes.
- Local businesses in Manitou Springs are offering a variety of discounts to those wearing the Incline wristband.
Click here to reserve your spot to hike The Incline.
Need to update your reservation? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Keep your wristband on when you come back into town from hiking the Incline! Shops are providing discounts for everyone with a wristband. Click here to see what discounts are available.
Parking Options: Plan to arrive in time to find parking and allow plenty of time to get to the base on the Incline. Parking is available at:
- Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot located at 10 Old Man’s Trail(link is external)
- Free parking
- Plan for a 1.3-mile walk from the Hiawatha Gardens parking lot to the base of the Incline until the Rte. 33 Incline Shuttle service resumes on Aug. 24.
- View parking map
- Iron Springs Chateau Parking 444 Ruxton Ave.
- Reservations recommended. ISC Hiking Parking
The crown jewel of outdoor recreation in Manitou Springs and referred to by locals as simply ‘the Incline’, this popular but strenuous hike is not for the faint of heart. It climbs over 2,000 vertical feet in less than a mile and sections as steep as 68% grade. Don’t forget to watch your step; they range in size and height to keep you on–or knock you off–your toes. At the summit, the Incline Trail connects to Barr Trail, which offers a steep but scenic 3-mile path back down to the base. Downhill use of the Incline is strongly discouraged (can you imagine tripping down 2,744 steps?).
The Bailout: A false summit ⅔ of the way to the top is the closest some come to tackling the incline. Here, the Incline Trail meets up with Barr Trail for the first time and offers exhausted hikers a reprieve. If you think you need to bail, we won’t tell anyone. But if you can muster enough energy, you’re almost to the top!
If you are planning to hike the Incline, keep in mind it could take 3-4 hours for first responders to reach you in the event of a medical emergency. There are a number of mountain trails that might better suit casual hikers.
This incredible hike is free to use, but please consider making a donation to Incline Friends to help keep the incline in good condition for years to come.
Parking at the base of the Incline is not free, though the FREE Rt. 33 shuttle runs from downtown Manitou Springs to the base of the trail (and if you work up an appetite it will drop you off downtown to grab drinks or a bite to eat on your way back!).
Need to Know
The Incline is currently open.
The Incline is accessible from 6am to 6pm.
The neighbors thank you for not starting earlier.
The FREE shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm daily
Save money by parking for free at 10 Old Man’s Trail and hopping on the free shuttle.
Limited paid parking available at the trailhead near 530 Ruxton Ave
The early bird gets the work and the parking spot. Parking is $10 for the day.
During the summer, your best bet will still be the shuttle from any downtown parking lot, which range from free to $5 for all day.
No pets allowed on the trail.
Your dog definitely did not sign up for this so leave your pets at home. Trust us, Rover will thank you for it. But really, we mean it: no dogs.
Bring plenty of water.
Dehydration and altitude sickness is not fun. If you forgot your water, stop in any number of shops in town to grab a water bottle. We don’t want to rescue you unless it’s a real emergency.
Wear proper footwear.
The nearest ocean is 1000 miles away, so leave your flip-flops at home.
The Incline is physically strenuous.
Think of the Incline like leg day at the gym; if you skip leg day, you might skip this hike. If you decide this hike isn’t for you, there are plenty of other options to get outside.
We’re saying it again just in case: The Incline is physically strenuous.
What goes up must come down, including you. Every week, firefighters have to trudge up the stairs to rescue ill-prepared hikers. If you are unsure of your ability, please give our firefighters a break and start on a friendlier trail.
Downhill use of the Incline is strongly discouraged. Please descend on Barr Trail. Your knees and uphill hikers will thank you.
Be prepared, conditions may vary!
Weather in Colorado is unpredictable and afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer. Colorado ties for 4th place in the number of lightning-related fatalities, so start early and get off the mountain if in doubt. In fall, winter, and spring, check the forecast and be prepared for snow. Even if the steps appear dry, bring hiking spikes to help maintain traction on the shadier downhill portion.
Difficulty level: Extreme (we promise we’re not kidding)
Length: about .9 mile / 1.4 km (plus nearly 3 miles / 4.8 km down Barr Trail)
Elevation Gain: 2,020 ft / 615 m
Base Elevation: 6,530 ft / 2012 m
Summit Elevation: 8,550 ft / 2606 m
Total Stairs: 2,744
Average Grade: 41%
Steepest Grade: 68%
Annual Visitors: An estimated 70,000 annual visitors ranging from 7-70 years old.
Average Time: Seasoned Incliners and Olympic athletes may summit in under 30 minutes, but most hikers complete the Incline in 1 hour or longer.