Manitou Include reopens with reservations required — The Know

The popular Manitou Incline at the foot of Pikes Peak is open, and reservations are being taken for time slots to make the arduous climb straight up Mount Manitou.

Reservations are required, but there is no charge.

The Incline, a workout magnet for weekend warriors that also is sometimes used by athletes in training at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, climbs 2,000 feet in less than a mile along the path of a former railway.

Reservations were required for the first time last year, but that was due to the pandemic. This year the system is in place to manage the number of people at the popular attraction and prevent overcrowding.

More than a century ago, the incline was built for a tram that was used to haul construction supplies up to the site of a hydroelectric plant. Soon it was converted into a railway ride up the mountain for tourists. In 1990 the rails were removed, with the ties left in place, which made it a fitness challenge for those who were up for it. There are about 2,750 steps to the climb.

Reservations can be made seven days in advance. Reservations are good for 30-minute time slots to start the climb, but there is no restriction on when you have to finish your hike. Visitors are asked not to descend the incline, using the adjacent Barr Trail instead.

Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead when it comes to parking. One option is the Hiawatha Gardens parking lot in Manitou Springs, which costs $1 per hour, with a shuttle that takes visitors from the lot to the Manitou Incline trailhead. Another option is at the Iron Springs Chateau, also in Manitou Springs, but reservations are required to park there.

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