Manitou Incline / Mount Manitou
The Standard Route:
(In green on the map and elevation profile)
Warning: This trail crosses private property
Currently efforts are in progress to make this a public trail. However until then, if you hike this trail you are treaspassing.(Read more.)
After following the directions to the trailhead you should be standing at the base of the incline looking at the challenge before you. You can see the true summit from here, but as you hike and reach the steeper part of the trail what appears to be the top of the trail is not. What is visible most of the hike is a false finish about 200 feet below the actual finish.
The trail is extremely easy to follow to the top as there are no turns, just follow the old tracks in a straight line until you reach the top. The rails have been pulled up, however most of the old ties remain creating a rugged stairway. The slope of this trail will reach 50 degrees at its steepest, which is why it makes such a great workout. It will test your strength and endurance. Please be courteous as you hike an allow faster hikers to pass. If you take a break please do so off to the side.
Once on the summit the standard route is to take a 90 degree left turn and head south. This trail will take you down to the Barr trail. Follow the Barr trail back to the parking lot and then continue down the road to your car.
As a part of the development plan of this trail, a new descent trail will be constructed in the future. Once that trail is complete use it rather than the one described above.
The Extended Route: (In blue on the map and elevation profile) For those looking for a little more after the 2000 feet of vertical gain it is possible to go a beyond the summit house ruins. To do so follow the standard route, then once you reach for the top look for a trail that continues to the West from the summit (see photo at right). This trail will take you another couple of hundred feet higher but on a much milder slope.
Then continuing on it will meet up with the Barr trail just beyond trail sign. Turn down (hard left)on the Barr trail and return to your car this way, or veer right and continue up the Barr trail to Barr Camp or even the summit of Pikes Peak.
The Bailout Route: (In red on the map and elevation profile)Think of this as the preview. If you've never done the incline before and just want to see what it's like without commiting to too much this is a great start. About half way up the trail (elevation wise) there is an exit on the left side that joins up with the Barr trail. You'll see the path leading to a brown log fence, just on the other side of the fence is the Barr. Descend down the Barr from here. Even if you don't intend to take this route, it's good to know it's there just in case your trip doesn't quite go as planned.
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