Photo Courtesy of The Gazette.

Photo Courtesy of The Gazette.

Looking to climb Colorado's 'stairway to heaven'? You'll have to plan ahead. The reservation system that launched last summer on the Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs is officially here to stay. 

The reservation system was started in August of 2020, limiting the number of hikers on the trail in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to KKTV, the hiker reservation system is set to permanently remain in place now due to safety reasons, including a drop in search and rescue calls. Parking to access the crowded trail has also caused issues in the past.

The number of reservations per half hour session are as followed:

  • 6:00am to 9:00am – 65 reservations
  • 9:00am to 3:30pm – 45 reservations
  • 3:30pm to 6:30pm – 25 reservations

The upside is reservations are free and there also tends to be some room for walkups. A report from CBS Denver says that 20 to 30 percent of reserving parties end up being a no-show on any given day. 

The Manitou Incline is often referred to as one of most strenuous hikes in the state, consisting of nearly 3,000 steps and 2,000 feet of vertical gain in less than a mile. The base of the Incline is located in Manitou Springs near the base of Barr Trail and across the street from the Cog Railroad.

For more information, please visit

How do you feel about the Manitou Incline reservation system? Do you like being able to reserve your spot at hiking trails in advance, or do you prefer a more spontaneous adventure? Let us know in the comments section below.

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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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