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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.




28 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 gentlemen.booking 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. ( http://www.manitouincline.com/manitou-incline/time-to-hike-the-manitou-incline/) [...]

  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…

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