Time to Hike the Manitou Incline

Hiking the Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is only 1 mile but climbs 2,000 vertical feet. So how long does it take people to hike up it?

Times of under 20 minutes for world class athletes pass around the local hiking community and in news articles. I have some friends that can hike the Manitou Incline in the low 20 minutes. My best time over 10 years ago was 29 1/2 minutes. I’m much slower than that now.

Colorado Springs has many very fit athletes so there are plenty of people hiking the Manitou Incline in under 30 minutes but from what I’ve seen the average Incline hiker is making it to the top in 40 – 50 minutes. Many first timers and people from lower elevations are taking over an hour.

The accepted spot to time yourself is from the bottom tie right above the Pikes Peak Cog Railway parking lot. Stop timing at the last tie at the top. It seems a couple of ties have disappeared from the top over the last several years but it probably doesn’t change the time.

Don’t be fooled by these times. These times and the times people talk about are just for going up the Incline. There’s no way to magically end up back at the bottom so you need to factor coming back down into your hiking plans.

Although the rules for using the Incline stop short of prohibiting coming back down the Incline, they recommend one way up. The most popular way to get back down is to go to the left and then go down a social trail to the Barr Trail. There are a few steep loose sections on the social trail so use caution. Going this way down takes about 40-45 minutes at a quick walking pace.

There are a few places with Manitou Incline times listed. Out There Colorado has created an Incline Tracker for people to enter their times and compare their times to others overall or in their age group. Pikes Peak Sports has a Manitou Incline honor roll. The Incline Club has more official times from when they used to “run” the Incline before the No Trespassing sign was put up in June of 2000.

56 Responses to “Time to Hike the Manitou Incline”

  1. Sheryl says:

    My first time! I am 57 and did it in 55 minutes. First snow of the season and it was amazing! I will do it again and again. I love Co Springs and what it has to offer for fitness!~

  2. Miguel Hernandez says:

    Today was my first time at the prime age of 58 and it took me 50 minutes. I’m coming back!!

  3. Sheila says:

    Thank you Sheryl! I’m going to try hiking it on my 58th birthday!!!i was worried about being the Oder no trying it out.

  4. Betty says:

    Last year we were here visiting..I was 67..the altitude was hard…I did it in 49 minutes…Today ( July 20, 2017)back here visiting again and I was 5 weeks out of toe out of my “boot” a week and a half ago and tried it…tough…I was disappointed that it took me 67 minutes!! No endurance training for some time …At 68 though I am happy I can do this :-)

  5. Mike says:

    63 minutes. 61 years old. Came from sea level 2 days prior. 13 weeks post quadruple bypass.

  6. Gia says:

    The “average” incline hiker does not take 40-50 min. That’s very misleading. It takes an hour or more for an average hiker to do the incline. A lot of people in Colorado are in great shape so their incline time is right around 40 min and less if they are in awesome shape. If you take an average person from out of state or even someone from Colorado, I guarantee you they will not be able to do it in the 40-50 min range you’re talking about. I climb mountains all the time and I can’t get any better than my record of 45 min. For my age, however, 45 min is great.

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