Incline Friends is a non-profit community organization dedicated to maintaining and sustaining the Manitou Springs Incline as an athletic and outdoors destination for the Front Range. As the Incline continues to function as one of the main gathering points for Manitou and Colorado Springs, we work with fellow stakeholders, users and supporters to ensure that the Incline remains a treasure of our community. We are a completely volunteer-based organization dedicated to preserving the Incline for generations to come. We dedicate our time, money and effort to the goal of sustaining the Incline and ensuring a positive experience for users and the surrounding community.
The Incline is a popular hiking trail in Manitou Springs, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. It is known as one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the Colorado Springs area. It is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, as steep as 68% in places with an average grade just over 40%, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. The incline gains over 2,000 feet (610 m) of elevation in less than one mile, to a height of about 8,600'. It can be completed by Olympic athletes in around 20 minutes, but it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on your fitness level. The U.S. Forest Service has estimated that 70,000 people use the incline annually. It is not uncommon to see people ages 7-70 using the Incline, as well as Olympic athletes and members of the military.
The Incline ascends the location of the former Mount Manitou Scenic Incline Railway. The Manitou Incline was originally built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak - America's Mountain. After the pipelines were finished, it was turned into a tourist attraction. A rock slide damaged a section of track in 1990, so the Manitou Springs Incline was closed down and the rails removed.
Until February 2013, a portion of the Incline was private property and it was illegal to hike. In 2014, the Incline was closed to undergo extensive repairs to the damaged sections of the trail. Now reopened to the public, the Incline is much safer and remains to be just as challenging, if not more so, for outdoor and fitness enthusiasts alike.
The Manitou Incline route is owned by three different parties: the City of Colorado Springs owns the bottom 25% on behalf of Colorado Springs Utilities, Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company (known as the “Cog”) owns the middle 50%, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) owns the top 25%.