Think you can handle The Incline?!
Completed in 1907, the Manitou Incline was a 1 mile cable tram built to support the construction of a hydroelectric plant and it's waterline. After performing this service, the railway was then purchased by Dr. Brumbach and turned into a tourist attraction.
The incline boasted a 16 minute ride to "scenic splendors", 10 miles of hiking trails in Mount Manitou Park, and claimed to be the "longest and highest incline on the globe." Spencer Penrose bought the incline in 1923 and made it part of his tourist attraction empire, which is now owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Co. During this time, the cars were upgraded to allow for a retractable roof and more safety.
The summit station was again rebuilt in 1958 and lasted until it was dismantled upon closure of the incline.In 1990 the Manitou Incline closed after a rockslide damaged the tracks again and the Cog Railway decided to cease the failing operation and focus on the profitable Cog Railway. Ever since then the route has seen a steady stream of runners, joggers, hikers, walkers, and even some crawlers.
The route is short and steep, gaining nearly 2000 feet of elevation in 3/4 of a mile it is truly a Colorado workout.
The rails have been pulled up, however most of the old ties, spikes and various metal pipes and stakes remain. Hike west on the railroad bed. The trail is obvious before you as it ascends the mountain. The slope of this trail will reach 50 degrees at one point, which is why so many people use this trail for a workout. If the trail proves to be too much there is a bail-out point halfway up where the Barr trail is just across a gully from the incline trail. (Look for a brown log fence you won't miss it) You will pass one false summit before you reach the remains of the old summit station. I do not recommend hiking back down the incline trail, it's difficult and dangerous to do. Using the bail-out point halfway will make the round trip roughly 2 miles long. Going to the summit is about a mile with 4 miles down the Barr Trail back to the parking lot.
People have been seriously injured on the spikes and various metal objects on this trail! Please Use caution when hiking!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This is a moderately difficult hike.