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.

49 Responses to “Time to Hike the Manitou Incline”

  1. Todd says:

    I’ll have to check out this hike next time I’m in Colorado Springs. ;)

  2. ChrisMonty says:

    took me 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete the incline. fuuuuuuck

  3. Nikki says:

    Me, too, Chris, me, too… Lol! I’m just happy I completed it!

  4. laura says:

    me too guys….. 2.5 hours up, 2.5 hours down. wanted to die. fuuuuuuuuuck is right.

  5. [...] is reported that world-class athletes take 20 minutes to complete this hike, while “first timers and [...]

  6. Tyler says:

    I thought I was in great shape until an 75 year old man hiked right past me on the way up… that kinda stuff really takes a toll on your self esteem lol

    Took me 2 hours, “UltraRob” had to be smokin’ crack to get up in 29 1/2 minutes

  7. Kathy Baringer says:

    I am 55, and in average shape in today’s ‘America.’ Anyway, I got half way, leaving at Barr Trail. It took me less than 2 hrs to go up, but it was grueling at times. My son had to pull me up some of the taller steps, and I had breaks about every 30 steps … BUT I DID IT and will again.

  8. jenny says:

    First time today. Took me 2 hours up and I jogged off and on down the trail which took an hour. Quite a bit of snow and ice today. It was not fun at all but I did enjoy my time and am proud that I did it. I am not in shape really. 155 lbs and 35 years old, but the view was absolutely amazing! Will I do it again? Maybe…not anytime soon though. About 25 degrees early this morning, I think that the cold made it harder to breathe which made it harder to go up.

  9. Kendall says:

    I made it to the top, but the temperatures were brutal with snow coming down, so it’s probably best if you don’t go when there is snow on the way. The steps can be extremely slippery, and people are constantly slipping around. I am definitely doing it again, but will probably wait until mid March. I’m 31 and I was passed up by someone twice my age. Made me feel completely out of shape HAHA, even though I’m not. I’m a avid hiker, but this trail takes the cake!!

  10. UltraRob says:

    Yes, it can get very slippery when snowy. A couple days after it snows is usually even worse than when it first snows. Right now there’s still ice from the last snow. I definitely don’t recommend hiking when snowy/icy without Kahtoola Microspikes, Yaktrax or Stabilicers Lite.

  11. k2climbr2003 says:

    I used to race bicycles and every Wednesday at 5:30 in the morning, out cycling crew would meet up and attack the incline. I was never the fastest but I averaged a time of 23-24 min with a HR of 185-191. This was when I was 39 years old. I have recently gone back to doing the incline and I’m now 44 and my time is still under 30 min…and it still hurts the same. My 6 and 4 yr old did it in 2 hrs…they would not stop. I had to make them stop and drink water. Everyone should experience the Incline at least once.

  12. tschubert says:

    I went my first time April 26th 2013 my time up was 63 mins. We made if all the way to top and ran the 2 miles down the trail. I’m wanting to do it again this week and beat my time. It’s awesome and a swrious workout!! I to was passed by some older it. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging on the trail.

  13. Lil Jimmy says:

    I did it in 35 mins will smoking a J. Best. Day. Ever.

  14. Jen says:

    My family and I did the incline today. It took us two hours twenty minutes to go up and back. That was with my two little kids. We hope to beat our time the next time we go.

  15. [...] Before we headed up, I had Googled “Manitou Springs Incline Time” to see if there was a gauge of how long we should allow. This website suggested that routine incliners take between 30-60 minutes, but newcomers will take ov…. [...]

  16. Seth says:

    Did the hike in 1 hour, 5 mins. Had only been in the altitude for a day and a half so made it tough. Taking the Barr Trail down is definitely the way to much easier going down and since it was pouring down rain easier to get footing than the stair steps! Nice little work out though!

  17. lea hope bonzer says:

    I’m Lea and I’m 33 and I got up on incline in 36 minutes. I was very proud and still am..

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Today was my first time doing the incline, I got up in 1 hr and 4 minutes.I am 24 and not in good shape by any means. I live in the SF Bay area in CA, so the altitude was definitely something to get used to. I took frequent breaks, and hiked it in 90 degree heat. I am confident my second time will be an improvement!

  19. [...] 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. ( [...]

  20. liberto says:

    took me 1.40 dammmmmmm i wanted to die half way through so much i have made the climb 4 more times lol

  21. Mike says:

    Did the Incline today in preparation for Mt Shasta next month. It was tough. Took me 57 minutes.

  22. Matty1000 says:

    Today was my first time on the Incline. I am a competitive cyclist and live in Denver. I’m 40 years old and clocked 32:36. The temperature was 97° when I started! I came into it with three days of 12,000 total feet of climbing so my legs were already pretty cooked. Now I want to go back with fresh legs and see if I can nail 28 minutes and I would be way stoked!

  23. PD says:

    Was a horrible experience for me! Took 3 hours and wanted to cry almost every step of the way. Never attempt on a 95 degree day. One nice thing though, there is a lot if encouragement from strangers along the way. Make sure before you attempt that you are truely in shape. Happy to have survived!

  24. Jennifer says:

    Took us almost 3 hours. It was very tough, but just took it one step at a time. The encouragement from everyone along the way was awesome. It helped.
    Just remember: You’re only competing with yourself. And even then, you are lapping everyone on the couch.

  25. Brennan says:

    I have done it 5 times, only 45 more times then I can call my life complete. My last time up, I got low-30, around 32 minutes. I’m 18, 175 lbs (79.3 kg) and 6’2 (1.87m). I also did cross country, wrestling, and track in high school so I already have good cardio, but my muscular endurance isn’t that great. I also did it in a snowstorm in January. I was wearing some thermals and a pair of shorts under my sweatpants and it felt amazing. I beat my wrestling coach up, and that made me feel good. I always run down the barr trail, not walk, RUN. This monday I will be doing the incline again and I might carry him down the barr trail just for laughs.

  26. Matthew says:

    I did my first on Friday the 25th of July… I live in Mexico at over 6000 feet, so altitude was not too bad. I asked people at the bottom and at the top for the time. It took me 44 minutes to climb up and around 50 to come down. I walked and ran and took some pictures. I was carrying my Ipad, so couldn’t run too fast. I’m 39 years old, weigh 190 lbs. Was a great challenge!

  27. Jim says:

    My wife and I just moved here from Florida – Sea Level for the past 50 years – HA!!! We are early 50′s and in good shape. Took 63 minutes up and 55 minutes down the Barr Trail. INCREDIBLE experience is not a strong enough word. We can’t wait to do it a bunch more and after we get acclimated to the altitude!!

    p.s. 1/2 way up we did say it suc..ked… NICE!!!

  28. hit the trail at 8:30 am prob made it the top about 12:00 ….back to car at 3:30 pm pm..AHHHAAAAAAHHH!!!but I loved the challenge….I have MS, am age 47 made this a personal challenge over a year ago…

  29. Raymo says:

    One of the prettiest places I’ve ever barfed :)

  30. [...] you are really up for adventure you can try the Manitou Incline that starts right behind the parking lot for the cog railway. The Manitou incline is and old [...]

  31. Jackie Parra says:

    It took us 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete a winter icy climb. This was our first time and along the way we learned a lot about proper winter equipment! We will beat our timing next time!!

  32. Francine says:

    This took me two hours up and two hours down
    holy shit it was hard and GLAD
    to complete the incline. Would i do it again?
    Yes i would !!!!

  33. BK says:

    First time with a bunch of young studs – 35 minutes in icy conditions (I’m 55 and was wearing yaktrax)

  34. Brandon says:

    I made it to the top in 28:34 last Friday, 13 Feb 15. Still had a little ice at the top. This is my current PR. I hope to break 27 minutes by the end of summer. The key is to keep moving and pushing out of your comfort zone, BUT don’t do anything crazy until you have done it multiple times and know what to expect. Best of luck!

  35. Joy says:

    March 7,2015. First timer, age 49. Went with my husband age 49, son age 16.5 and good friend age 39. Still snowy, icy, and very trecherous in places. Took us 1 hour 15 minutes up, and a slush, muddy long time down Barr trail. Loved it!! People coming down the slippery incline as we were coming up were sliding down on there butts to keep from falling. Do not come down the incline in snow. The trail is longer but safer. I only fell twice. But it wasn’t far to fall. Get “yaktrax” or equivalent for traction.This is a dangerous tough little hike if you are a fasionista wearing chuck taylors! Get some hiking shoes for safety and ENJOY!

  36. JJ says:

    We are traveling to Co. soon, and a friend has challenged us to do this in under 45 minutes. We’re pretty fit, but from Ohio…so we’ll see. At least it will be after we’ve spent over a week on Co. hiking, so hopefully we will have adjusted to altitude a bit!

  37. C.M says:

    I did it after a year without exercise and a few injuries.Blazing hot day in July, slower than I have ever hiked.1.5 hrs up and 1 hr down the trail.It felt great, (it was my second time).I am almost 58 yrs old and weigh 119 lbs.

  38. Ken says:

    61 yrs old–doing crossfit-style training and running almost every day in one form or another and getting ready for Spartan races. Did it the first time on Saturday in 41.42. Monitored heart rate — could have done a few min faster I think — but did not know what to expect and wanted to live through it:) its tough for sure.

  39. Gana says:

    What time does the incline/trail close? We always climbed up early in the morning. Due to our schedule, we wanted to do it in the evening.

  40. UltraRob says:

    Officially the Incline is open from dawn to dusk.

  41. Stephen Davis says:

    I did it this morning for the 1st time took me 41 minutes.

  42. Dan Lovell says:

    I’m 22 approx 180lbs and in pretty decent shape however I haven’t done any type of endurance cardio workout in at least 6 months! I completed the incline yesterday just before noon in approximately 48 minutes. I stopped a couple of times to catch m breath but other than that I kept moving. It was about 85-90degrees by the time I got to the top. I took about a 30 minute break to enjoy the view and then ran down the Barr trail which took no more than 30mins (I didn’t time it). I would recommend going as early as you can handle so it’s nice and cool. Another tip, never look up the stairs… Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Oh yeah, take a snack to eat at the top. You will need it!

  43. Heather says:

    I’ve done it twice. First time was an hour and 10 minutes, second time was an hour and 13 minutes. So bummed that it took me longer the second time. I plan to keep doing it and beating my time.

  44. James says:

    I live in Colorado Springs so altitude isn’t an issue. Did incline for the first time this year in 41 mins. I’m 47, 230lbs. I’ve done it faster but I’m happy with my time.

  45. Diana says:

    took me an hour and 15 to get up and about 2 hrs to go down the trail-but I was also taking pictures of the beautiful scenery as it was our anniversary trip. I wasn’t prepared for it but am so glad I did it-almost took the “bailout” but then thought when would I get another chance to do this? so I finished it!

  46. Nick Gambeli says:

    05-20-2016 First time climber, 56 minutes.
    I’m 59, native, built like a marathoner. I’ve climbed all the trails around the Pikes Peak region, including bushwhacking up Sentinel Point. The Incline was the most difficult. But I used the same technique as with any trail: as even a pace as the trail will allow.

  47. Denise says:

    On Tuesday, June 14, 2016:

    First timer! It took me 1:31:34 to hike up the Manitou Incline and about 0:50:00 to go down the Barr Trail. This includes the time I stopped going up/down taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.

    *First timers from Louisiana*
    4 adults in our group (F-46, M-51, F-52, M-56)
    2 1/2 hrs – 3 1/2 hrs for all 4 to complete the hike.

    You should be prepared for a HIKE! Bring extra water, take your time and enjoy the scenery. If you can try to avoid hiking mid-afternoon. We started our hike around 11:30 AM. Really should have started much earlier so that I would be a little cooler.

  48. Doris says:

    It was our first time yesterday and let me tell you it was the climb to hell in 95F heat ;) . We are 35 and 38 and in decent shape, we thought haha. My husband made it in 1 hour and 25 minutes and it took me a little over 1hour and 45 minutes – I really wanted to stop half way through, but there were so many great people which motivated each other and help out with water, if you are out. We were proud of our self and it was a great experience (afterwards). We were in Germany the last 3 years and had to adapt to the altitude. I also was passed by a 76 year old gentlemen and he told me he climbs the stairs every day.. I want to be him, when I grow up ;)

  49. Joe LaCombe says:

    I finally broke the 40 mark with a 38. This is a beast! I was at 40 for months and finally learned that skipping stairs helps. If you are between 40-50 you are an athlete and/or have a strong/healthy heart. It’s a great thing to stick with if you have the time.

Leave a Reply