As the Manitou Incline reopens with new renovations once again, many wonder if recent changes will have an effect on it’s appeal.

The trail’s popularity, not surprisingly, didn’t drop with the previous $2 million overhaul in 2014 – which involved replacing railroad ties, removing rebar and debris, and installing retaining walls and other drainage features on the former tourist railway. Should one expect the same result this time around? Let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind the Manitou Incline’s success.

While the reason of usage varies by the person, one thing hasn’t changed: The Incline remains a magnet for elite athletes, out-of-shape tourists and everyone in between.

A counter buried under the trail by the city of Colorado Springs paints a clear picture of addiction.

In the 365 days after reopening Dec. 5, 2014, more than 350,000 trips were recorded – an average of close to 1,000 per day. Only two weeks failed to generate at least 1,000 recorded trips.

Traffic was highest in July, when almost 50,000 visits were recorded. Even given the fact some hikers took multiple trips, the sheer volume of feet walking up the mountain is notable.

Nearly 3,000 trips were recorded on July 3 alone.

The Incline isn’t always busy, however.

During a stretch in late February and early March, the trip counter didn’t reach 100 for eight straight days. Snow and cold can be blamed for those low numbers as it seems weather – not suffering – is the only deterrent.

Kurt Lundstrom and a stream of hikers climb the Manitou Incline (pre-restoration) at sunrise. Photo Credit: Christian Murdock
Kurt Lundstrom and a stream of hikers climb the Manitou Incline (pre-restoration) at sunrise. Photo Credit: Christian Murdock


Average grade: 41 percent

Steepest grade: 68 percent

Number of trips in 365 days since 2014 reopening: 352,445

Average number of trips per day: 966

Average number of trips per month: 29,370

Average number of trips per week: 6,778

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