If you read last Friday's post, you know that I visited Colorado Springs. During that visit, I climbed The Manitou Incline and hiked Barr Trail. This post is less about my personal trip, and more about the specifics of The Incline and Barr Trail.
The Manitou Incline is a popular hike that rises above the town of Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak. It is just a few minutes from Colorado Springs. The trail is what is left of the incline railway. The railway's tracks were washed away in 1990 during a rock slide. All that remains are the railroad ties for us to climb.
The Incline gets as steep as 68% in some places. This makes it not only a fitness challenge for Colorado Springs locals, but also for Olympic athletes and members of the military. The incline gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile.
Parts of the incline were broken and icy, which made us scramble at every little slip. There are also parts where large pipes were exposed. This is from the days when the Incline was a hydroelectric utility system.
We made it! It was my first time, and my friend's 5th time hiking the Incline.
View from the top...
This is a video of the Incline being climbed from the view of a backpacker - obviously they fast forwarded it to make it only a 3 minute video.
At the top of the Incline, there is a tie-in to the Barr Trail that allows hikers to go back down without using the Incline, because technically, you are not supposed to go back down the Incline.
Barr Trail is 12.6 miles long and climbs 7,800 feet in total. We climbed just one section of the trail. The trail is a well-marked, packed dirt, rocks and decomposed gravel trail. It is not known as an easy hike.
Fun fact: Barr Trail is used for the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Barr Trail Mountain Race, which attract thousands of runners from all over the world.
And those views... simply gorgeous!
I can't wait to go back to Colorado and conquer these hikes again!
Have a beautiful weekend!