Manitou Springs Incline, Manitou Springs

4.8
#1 of 11 in Trails in El Paso County
The Manitou Springs Incline, also known as the Manitou Incline or simply the Incline, is a popular hiking trail rising above Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. The trail is the remains of a former narrow gauge funicular railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990. The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, with an average grade of 45% (24°) and as steep as 68% (34°) in places, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. The incline gains over 2000ft of elevation in less than one mile.
The Incline was constructed under the ownership of Dr. Newton N. Brumback (1854-1923) as a funicular in 1907, for the purpose of providing access to water tanks at the top of the mountain that would provide gravity-fed water pressure to the cities of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. Originally, the railroad was constructed to access the hydroelectric plant and service the water pipes, but shortly after its construction, the railway was opened as a tourist attraction. The Incline's original summit house was a rudimentary building constructed from left over materials from the Incline's construction, and burned down in 1914. The summit house was quickly rebuilt into a more elaborate, comfortable, and safer structure, offering shelter from storms and the elements. The 1914 structure remained until replaced by an updated summit house in 1958, which remained until it was dismantled after the Incline's closure. The Incline operated under the Pikes Peak Cog Railway until a rock slide in 1990 washed out the rail bed and the Cog Railway decided to not repair the tracks.
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Manitou Springs Incline Reviews
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779 reviews
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  • I've hiked the Manitou Incline several times over the past decade, but this was my first time hiking it since renovation. All of the dilapidated steps have been replaced, making for a much safer...  more »
  • A true test of fitness and fortitude for those who consider themselves athletic! I live at sea level and had been in the area 5 days but was humbled by the demands this mountain placed on my body and....  more »

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