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Manitou Springs Incline, Manitou Springs

4.8
#4 of 25 in Outdoors in El Paso County
Water Body Hiking Trail
The Manitou Springs Incline, also known as the Manitou Incline or simply the Incline, is a popular hiking trail rising above Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. The trail is the remains of a former narrow gauge funicular railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990. The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, with an average grade of 45% (24°) and as steep as 68% (34°) in places, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. The incline gains over 2000ft of elevation in less than one mile.HistoryThe Incline was constructed under the ownership of Dr. Newton N. Brumback (1854-1923) as a funicular in 1907, for the purpose of providing access to water tanks at the top of the mountain that would provide gravity-fed water pressure to the cities of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. Originally, the railroad was constructed to access the hydroelectric plant and service the water pipes, but shortly after its construction, the railway was opened as a tourist attraction. The Incline's original summit house was a rudimentary building constructed from left over materials from the Incline's construction, and burned down in 1914. The summit house was quickly rebuilt into a more elaborate, comfortable, and safer structure, offering shelter from storms and the elements. The 1914 structure remained until replaced by an updated summit house in 1958, which remained until it was dismantled after the Incline's closure. The Incline operated under the Pikes Peak Cog Railway until a rock slide in 1990 washed out the rail bed and the Cog Railway decided to not repair the tracks.
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  • We came to Colorado to hike the Barr trail to Pikes Peak. The day before, we decided to try the Incline. My husband and kids made it up in an hour, but it took me 1 hr 15 min. It is amazing to look at...  more »
  • My husband and teen daughter climbed the incline and thought it would only take an hour. Five hours later.....the called me for a ride. They were proud of their accomplishment. I think my daughter's p...  more »
  • The incline is for those looking to challenge themselves, and should only be hiked by those in good physical health and with a solid fitness routine under their belt. Prepare yourself by bringing wate...  more »

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Where to stay in Manitou Springs

The downtown area houses guests in lodges and or chain hotels. The town's 150-year-old Victorian-style hotel offers smaller rooms but provides historical charm, and it's withing walking distance to shops and restaurants. Booking a rental cottage or cabin just outside downtown puts you in touch with nature without being too far away from the activity in the town's center.
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