The Manitou Incline reopens on December 2nd, 2016 after a celebration ceremony and ribbon cutting with Olympic athletes at 8:30 AM. The Incline has been closed since August 22nd for a second phase of repairs. This time work was done from the bottom of the Incline up to where the repairs were made in the fall of 2014.
There are a few specials for the reopening. The Starbucks at 3104 W. Colorado Avenue will be offering ANY grande beverage for only $2.00 from Friday Dec. 2nd through Sunday Dec. 4th. Manitou Springs will be handing out free bottled water to riders of the free shuttle from the free Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot on Saturday from 7 until 10 AM. Also on Saturday, the first 300 riders of the shuttle will a gluten free mini-donut and coffee from The Market.
While the Incline was closed, Manitou Springs drastically increased parking fees and fines close to the Incline. Upper Ruxton has also become part of the Residential Parking so parking is only allowed Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. Parking on Ruxton when allowed is $10 PER HOUR. Letting your meter expire or parking outside of allowed hours will result in a $70 fine for first offense, $100 for 2nd and $150 for 3rd.
Parking in the Barr Parking lot is only available with a reservation from parkbarrtrail.com (redirects to the paid parking company’s website). Although the Manitou Springs mayor, Nicole Nicoletta, has mentioned a few times that reservations were coming, it was announced late Thursday afternoon that it’ll be effect on Friday for reopening. Details on how it works are not clear at this point other than it costs $20 (plus $2.40 fee) for a day or a 4 hour period. A $15 refund is supposed to be available at Barr Camp. Fines are also $70 for first offense, $100 for 2nd and $150 for 3rd.
Ok, it’s pretty clear the Manitou doesn’t want people parking near the Incline. They want everyone parking at the free Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot at 10 Old Mans Trail. The free shuttle stop is across the street on the east side of Manitou’s Memorial Park. The shuttle runs about every 20 minutes from 6 AM until 6 PM this time of year.
If you’re under a time crunch and want to park close, Iron Springs Chateau is your best option. It’s $5 to park for the day until 5 PM. The next best option is to park at the Pikes Peak Cog. Their parking is $10 for up to 3 hours from dawn to dusk if they don’t need all the parking for cog customers.
Manitou Incline regulars are excited to have the Incline open again so it’ll probably be quite busy this weekend. If you go, please be safe and enjoy yourself.
Update from the Iron Springs Melodrama mid-morning on Saturday: The incline is open the rest of the day today and will be open from 3:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. tomorrow. That is from the El Paso County Sheriff Deputy who is sitting at the bottom and it’s fixing to leave, once again nobody puts out the right information about this thing.
The 2016 Pikes Peak Ascent is August 20th and the Pikes Peak Marathon is August 21st. Unlike past years, Colorado Springs Parks and Rec has decided to close the Incline for the entire weekend. This is an extra bummer since the Incline closes for repairs the following day.
Friday August 19th will be the last day to hike the Incline until early December. Members of the Incline Friends Board of Directors will be at the bottom of the Incline on the 19th at 7 AM and again at 6 PM to answer questions. They’ll be handing out free popsicles. Rumor has it they’ll also have tissues for those shedding tears over the Incline closure.
The Barr Trail parking lot will be closed from 5 AM until noon. The Manitou Incline will be open but it would be best to avoid the area until the race is over. If you really want to do the Incline during the race, please respect the runners and don’t slow them down since they’re racing.
The Manitou Springs Fire Department sets off Fourth of July fireworks from Higginbotham Flats. Most people watch the parade on Manitou Avenue and then enjoy the firework show. The Manitou Incline is also a cool place to watch them. You do need to head up the Incline by 8 PM though to keep from breaking the rules.
The Manitou Incline will once again be closing for repairs late summer of 2016. It will be closed from August 22 until early December, 2016 (Photo above is from 2014). In 2014 it was closed from August 18th through December 5th.
This time the repair work will address the bottom portion of the Incline. Colorado Springs Parks and Rec is saying it’s from Tie 1 to Tie 1525. I believe those tie numbers are from the study before the Manitou Incline was legalized in 2013. Since then several more ties have come loose and rolled into the bushes.
Work will include repairing and replacing damaged retaining walls, cleaning up the mess of rebar and loose debris, adding additional drainage structures, stabilizing the existing ties, and stabilizing the surrounding slopes. Currently, there are several failed drainage structures.
The project cost is one million dollars. Funding is made possible by a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant and Trail, Open Space and Parks Funding (TOPS).The City of Colorado Springs is responsible for the general oversight, trail enhancements, and maintenance of the Incline and to apply for grants for fund improvements, per the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Manitou Springs.
The official Colorado Springs Park and Rec page for the Manitou Incline has a FAQ on the closure. It also has general information on the Incline.
Before the legal opening of the Manitou Incline to hiking, the public was given a few opportunities to give input on rules for the Incline. Most of the rules were common courtesy and didn’t generate much discussion. However, there were 2 rules that were controversial.
The 2 rules that many didn’t agree with were dawn to dusk hours and no dogs. The dawn to dusk rule was mandated by Colorado Springs Park and Rec for safety. The no dogs rule was pushed by a vocal minority of people that don’t like dogs plus those that were tired of dog owners not picking up after them.
As the popularity of the Incline increased after legalization, the pre-dawn crowds grew. Residents along Ruxton Avenue complained about being woken up by people excited to take on the challenge of the Incline. The number of dogs on the Incline decreased but many people continued to take their dogs.
It wasn’t surprising that people that had been ignoring the No Trespassing sign for years ignored the new rules. The rules couldn’t be enforced as the Incline is an easement across private property and an agreement was needed to allow the Manitou Springs police to write tickets.
The agreement necessary for enforcement of the Manitou Incline rules is now in place. Starting Friday April 1st, 2016 rule violators will be issued a citation and will be required to appear in Manitou Springs Municipal Court.
The rules remain mostly the same but the dawn to dusk rule has been replaced with hours of operation since specific times are needed for enforcement. The Manitou Incline hours are 6 AM to 8 PM from April 1st to October 31st and 6 AM to 6 PM from November 1st to March 31st.
The Incline Friends is having their annual General Membership Meeting on Wednesday February 17th, 2016. Incline Friends is the official friends group for the Manitou Incline. Colorado Springs Park and Rec uses friends groups to help manage many of the large parks and open spaces throughout the city.
You don’t need to be an Incline Friends member in order to attend. This is a great opportunity to meet with the Incline Friends Board of Directors, voice your thoughts, concerns and opinions. You can learn how you can help out with the Incline.
The meeting is from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services offices at 1421 Recreation Way.
With the Broncos headed to Super Bowl 50, Sam Chambers came up with a plan to turn the Manitou Incline orange to cheer the team on. He encouraged people to hike the Incline on Wednesday evening, February 3rd with orange lights. About 50 people accepted the challenge in spite of over a foot of new snow the beginning of the week.
It was quite impressive seeing the orange along with a few blue lights moving up the mountain. The inspiration for the lights on the Incline was a photo with red, white and blue lights that Sam helped Dan O’Sullivan Photography create after the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks.
A time lapse video of the event is posted on Facebook. Click here to see it.
Note that the official rules for the Incline prohibit hiking the Incline from dusk until dawn.
Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderfully day with family and friends celebrating the birth of Christ.
If your day includes the Incline, please use caution and traction devices. Both the Incline and Barr Trail are quite icy in spots.
2016 Manitou Incline calendars are now available for ordering. $3 from each calendar will be donated to the Incline Friends.
To order now, go to the 2016 Manitou Incline calendar order page.