Conquering the Manitou Incline: A Scenic Day Trip in Manitou Springs Colorado

Conquering the Manitou Incline: A Scenic Day Trip in Manitou Springs Colorado

A road tripping and adventure seeking paradise awaits you in Manitou Springs!

Manitou Incline

If you find yourself in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, you cannot miss the opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring Manitou Incline, followed by quirky boutiques and local eats in the quaint town of Manitou Springs.

Manitou Incline

Manitou Incline:

This historic hiking trail offers breathtaking views, a challenging ascent, and an unforgettable outdoor adventure. 

Manitou Incline

  1. Getting There: Head to the charming town of Manitou Springs, located just west of Colorado Springs. The town itself is worth exploring, with its quaint shops, art galleries, and local eateries, but make sure to soak up the town's vibrant atmosphere after your climb.  It gets crowded on the climb.  When we got there at 4:30am, there were no issues finding a parking spot!  After the climb, the lot was full.  

  2. Trail Overview: Prepare yourself for a physically demanding adventure as the Manitou Incline is not for the faint of heart. Originally built as a cable car route in the early 1900s, the incline is now a beloved hiking trail that climbs a vertical gain of 2,000 feet over a distance of just under one mile. Be sure to bring plenty of water, wear sturdy shoes, and pack snacks to fuel your body throughout the trek.

  3. The Ascent: As we embark on our ascent, the steep incline will immediately make its presence known. The trail consists of over 2,700 steps, varying in height and difficulty. Take your time, find your rhythm, and relish the challenge as you ascend through picturesque pine forests and rocky terrain. The incline provides an excellent workout, pushing your limits and rewarding you with stunning vistas at every turn.

  4. Spectacular Views: One of the main highlights of the Manitou Incline is the breathtaking views it offers throughout the journey. As you climb higher, the panoramic vistas of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, including Pikes Peak, will leave you in awe. Take a moment to catch your breath, soak in the beauty of nature, and capture some stunning photographs to remember this incredible experience.  We reached the summit at about 5:30am just in time for a spectacular sunrise!  

  5. Descending Options: After taking in the beauty and regaining your strength, you have a couple of options for the descent. If you prefer a more relaxed return journey, you can choose the Barr Trail, a longer but less steep trail that winds its way down the mountain. Alternatively, you can challenge yourself further by descending back down the incline, using different muscle groups and experiencing the trail from a different perspective.

Manitou Incline
Manitou Incline

Tips from those who came before you:

"Don't do a leg workout the day before you climb." - Marissa 7/2/2023

"Eat a healthy meal the night before so you aren't 'powered by Celcius' during your climb" - Brooke 7/2/2023

Manitou Incline

After conquering the Manitou Incline, your legs might feel as wobbly as a newborn giraffe attempting its first dance recital. But shake it off and be proud as you visit the town of Manitou Springs for quirky boutiques and good local eats!  Here's some unique things about this charming town:

  1. Natural Mineral Springs: Manitou Springs is renowned for its natural mineral springs, which have attracted visitors for centuries. The town boasts eight mineral springs, each with its own distinct flavor and composition. Visitors can sip the mineral-rich water from public fountains throughout the town, believed to have healing properties.

  2. Historic Significance: Manitou Springs has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s when it was established as a resort town. The town's historic downtown area still retains its Victorian charm, with well-preserved buildings and colorful storefronts. Exploring the historic district offers a glimpse into Manitou Springs' past.

  3. Art and Culture: Manitou Springs is a hub for artists and creatives. The town is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and artisan shops where you can discover unique artworks, handmade crafts, and locally produced goods. The Manitou Springs Art Center showcases the works of local and regional artists, contributing to the vibrant art scene.

  4. Quirky Boutiques and Shops: One of the delights of Manitou Springs is its collection of quirky and eclectic boutiques and shops. From antique stores and bookshops to specialty boutiques and curio shops, you'll find a wide range of fascinating items to peruse and purchase. It's a perfect place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts.

  5. Manitou Cliff Dwellings: A unique attraction in Manitou Springs is the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings were relocated to the area in the early 1900s and provide a glimpse into the history and culture of the region's indigenous people. Visitors can explore the dwellings, learn about Native American heritage, and view artifacts.

  6. Festivals and Events: Manitou Springs hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, adding to its lively atmosphere. From the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, where participants race down the streets with coffins, to the Manitou Springs Wine Festival and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, there's always something exciting happening in town.

Manitou Incline

Manitou Springs offers a blend of history, natural beauty, artistic expression, and quirky charm. Whether you're seeking relaxation, cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, an unforgettable climb up 2700 steps, or a taste of local flair, this town has something special to offer every visitor!

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