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Manitou Incline Photo Essay

Chris Carruth sent over this Manitou Incline Photo Essay. A big thanks to him capturing a morning of hiking on the Incline. Enjoy!

Daybreak has yet to occur, yet hikers and runners are already starting their trek up the ~2,000 steps.

Daybreak has yet to occur, yet hikers and runners are already starting their trek up the ~2,000 steps.


After topping the first rise, one can look back and get a sense for the elevation that Manitou Springs rests.  At 6,412 ft. this small municipality is at the very foot of Pikes Peak and acts as its gateway.

After topping the first rise, one can look back and get a sense for the elevation that Manitou Springs rests. At 6,412 ft. this small municipality is at the very foot of Pikes Peak and acts as its gateway.




 Hikers nonchalantly walk by a "No Trespassing" sign without so much as glancing up.  The Incline was built on land that is owned by three separate entities, the Manitou Springs Cog Railway, The National Forest Service and the city of Colorado Springs - none of these entities will assume liability for injury or usage of the popular hiking trail.  There has been no record of enforcement for trespassing.

Hikers nonchalantly walk by a "No Trespassing" sign without so much as glancing up. The Incline was built on land that is owned by three separate entities, the Manitou Springs Cog Railway, The National Forest Service and the city of Colorado Springs – none of these entities will assume liability for injury or usage of the popular hiking trail. There has been no record of enforcement for trespassing.


A runner's jog completes a revolution of the Incline as the first light of day warms the scene.  Runners and hikers sometimes repeat the grueling ~2,000+ ft. elevation gain several times.

A runner’s jog completes a revolution of the Incline as the first light of day warms the scene. Runners and hikers sometimes repeat the grueling ~2,000+ ft. elevation gain several times.


Graffiti reads "Don't Stop"; encouraging messages and will power abound.

Graffiti reads "Don't Stop"; encouraging messages and will power abound.” title=”Graffiti reads "Don't Stop"; encouraging messages and will power abound.


The Incline's average grade is an astonishing 48%.  This truly is a public, outdoor stair-master.

The Incline's average grade is an astonishing 48%. This truly is a public, outdoor stair-master.


Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.

Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.


Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.

Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.


Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.

Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.


Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.

Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.


Rubber tubing, wooden beams, and metal support rods are left as a reminder of the incline 's initial purpose - to pull a funicular up Mount Manitou.

Hikers push through the steepest portion of the Incline which is a staggeringly high 68% grade.


Near the summit, the land ownership changes from the Cog Railway to that of the National Forest Service.  These signs are largely, if not entirely, unheeded.

Near the summit, the land ownership changes from the Cog Railway to that of the National Forest Service. These signs are largely, if not entirely, unheeded.


Runners saunter back down the incline, passing those still yet to crest the top

Runners saunter back down the incline, passing those still yet to crest the top


Given the steep grades, injuries are common on the Incline, particularly those that involve tripping on shoelaces.  Despite his laces being taped, this man's knee is dripping blood and his calf bears multiple cuts and scratches in testament to modest dangers of tackling the Manitou Springs Incline.

Given the steep grades, injuries are common on the Incline, particularly those that involve tripping on shoelaces. Despite his laces being taped, this man's knee is dripping blood and his calf bears multiple cuts and scratches in testament to modest dangers of tackling the Manitou Springs Incline.



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