Photo Credit: Breanna Sneeringer, OutThere Colorado.

Want to climb the Manitou Incline this year? The 2,744 step staircase is now requiring all incliners to make a reservation to maintain a limited capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After being closed for months, the Manitou Incline reopened on Thursday with a new reservation system in place. Here's everything you need to know if you're planning on climbing the Manitou Incline. 

Please note, the Incline will be CLOSED for the Pikes Peak Marathon on Aug. 23, 2020.


Photo Credit: Breanna Sneeringer, OutThere Colorado.

1. You should research the climb first

It's a steep and strenuous climb that's not for everyone. People frequently require rescue from the route and some have died on the path in the past. The Manitou Incline gains 2,000 feet of elevation in less a one mile, with grades as steep as 68%. The base of the Incline is located in Manitou Springs near the base of the Barr Trail and across the street from the Cog Railroad.

2. How to make a reservation 

Reservations are available between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and can be made online. Upon your arrival, incliners must check in with an attendant at the base of the Incline. Wristbands issued must be worn at all times. Keep them handy as local businesses will be offering a variety of discounts. 

For the first two weeks, reservations will be available for 35 people every 30 minutes. After August 21st, the capacity will be increased to 45 people every 30 minutes.

Incliners may reserve more than one slot at a time. You may also reserve a time slot for another user, but please limit group reservations to four hikers per time slot. Cancellations can be made online or by email at InclineCancellation@coloradosprings.gov


Photo Credit: Breanna Sneeringer, OutThere Colorado.

3. Where to find parking

There are several options for parking in and around downtown Manitou Springs. Free parking is available for incliners at the Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot located at 10 Old Man’s Trail. Plan for a 1.3-mile walk from the parking lot to the base of the Manitou Incline until shuttle service resumes which is expected sometime around Monday, August 24. Additional parking is also available at the Iron Springs Chateau located at 444 Ruxton Avenue. Reservations recommended.

4. What to bring

This is a vigorous and intense climb. Always check the weather conditions prior to hiking up the steep and uneven 2,744 step staircase. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. Please be aware of the of the symptoms of altitude sickness and know how to react to you start to experience the sometimes-fatal condition It's extremely important to hydrate before, during, and after your climb. 

5. When to wear a mask

Manitou Springs is requiring masks or face coverings to be worn in both indoor and outdoor settings when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. While masks are not required when using the Incline, the city officials recommend wearing them when passing by others.  

6. Where To Eat

If you're looking to fill your stomach with some cuisine in downtown Manitou after your hike, a few dining options include Manitou Brewing Company, Adam’s Mountain Cafe, Hells Kitchen, Savelli's Pizza, Pasta and Subs, and Crystal Park Cantina.

Editor's Note: Please continue to follow all county and state orders in regards to COVID-19. No dogs are not allowed on the Incline. For your descent, please use Barr Trail. 

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


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