My husband and I are climbers. Whether we complete the climb or not is a different question.

So, when we moved to Colorado, a trip to Colorado Springs was a given. The only thing was that we had a goal that was stuck in our heads: climbing the Manitou Incline.

We had heard of the climb that involved the stair steps which, once upon a time, used to be railroads meant to deliver things required for Pike Peak pipelines. Climbing this incline had been on our bucket list for a long time.

The Manitou Incline stands proudly at 2000 ft. It is barely a mile long but the distance is covered with approximately 2000 stairs, give or take a few.


We weren't out of practice, thankfully. Our summer and spring were spent in dedicated practices of climbing mountains like Mt. Sanitas. We were also fairly confident after bagging our 14 Quandary Peak. Our abilities were further making us confident that we could complete this incline with ease.

As a generally intensely crowded area, we expected a lot of people in the Manitou Incline. However, things seemed to be in better shape once we saw that the traffic wasn't much. We parked the car and walked to the starting point of what seemed to be an endless staircase.

You have to admit one thing, an incline with steps is far more difficult to climb than an incline of the same height and measurement. But, we had already signed the devil's deal. And so, the climbing began.

We were not shy of giving ourselves an appropriate amount of shade and rest now and then. And, with that, we reached the top within an hour or so. Plus, what made the journey even more incredible were the beautiful views.

The Manitou Incline is one of the most popular sites one could go to in Colorado Springs. That being said, it is also one of the most difficult trails of Colorado. 

Are you too thinking about climbing the Manitou Incline? Our experience helped us learn a few things that may help you with the ordeal:

  • Wear athleisure: It's a hike and you need to be as comfortable as possible. Wear lightweight shoes and clothes you are comfortable in. Don't worry, your body will warm up once you start climbing the stairs.
  • Keep pets at home: Dogs are forbidden on this trail.
  • Reach the spot early: Weekends see more crowd than weekdays which is why you should come early to find a parking space. Also, the charges are $5 for parking and only cash is accepted.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen: With there being limited shade, you will need to protect yourself from the harsh sunlight.
  • Choose a sustainable pace: You don't have to rush. Walk slowly and take enough breaks whenever needed to slow your heartbeat down.
  • Bring enough water: Dehydration is a probability and your body will need as much hydration as possible, even when you don't feel thirsty.
  • Stay optimistic: Don't give up. The only way to complete this route is by staying positive.

If you are a fan of hiking, you will love this challenge. Add Manitou Incline to your bucket list and make the most out of this wonderful route!