Holy smokes in a hand-basket – I am in love! And sorry…no. Not with a man 😉 with Colorado and all the beautiful hiking that is available at your finger tips! Tackled myself a good one last week. Manitou Incline. Heard of it? Welp – if not lemme introduce ya!
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 hike up is only a bit over a mile but you climb 2,000 ft so it is def not for the faint of heart.
Not a bad lil drive from Denver and well worth the mini day trip for the workout and amazing views.
I took the recommendation to park along Ruxton Ave and hike up. Once I hiked up more I realized there were closer parking lots I could have taken advantage of. But it was also a Thursday and early in the season so my guess is if you go on a weekend in the summer you may need to park in a lot along Manitou Ave or even take the free shuttle (May 18-Sept 24).
The town of Manitou is so stinking cute. The streets are lined with lil shops and restaurants that just give off a small town, welcoming feel. Before I started my hike I even asked a lady where a restroom was and she brought me up to her cute massage parlor to use the bathroom – so sweet of her! I shoulda just stayed there and pampered myself ha.
Not gonna lie I was already kinda outta breath by the time I got to the BOTTOM! Lungs have adjusted nicely to Denver but when you’re starting at 6,631 feet (more than 1,000 ft above what I just got used to) it’s like starting over ha.
As soon as you take a peak at the stairs you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into. Ooofta! Perhaps it was the heat of the day, the altitude, or the fact I had come off two straight cleanse days but I got quite light-headed about halfway up! I spose it didn’t help my Camelbak water straw was not working right for part of it. If you ever want to freak me out – cut off my water supply! I am constantly drinking water and had a lil panic attack when I thought I wouldn’t have any during my Incline journey!
How was that paragraph for excuses? Ha. I know I just need to challenge myself to more altitude and inclines. It’s been amazing pushing my body to new levels and I know it’s going to pay off!
I met some really cool people while climbing those stairs. It was like an unspoken bond through torture and triumph. As I passed or got passed by others we would all look at each other like “yep we’re crazy but keep going – we got this!”
*Please note there is definitely a false summit! Mentally prepare yourself for this!! Once you think you are so close to being done – oh lordy no! Feels kinda like a slap in the face ha. But alas – you can still make it to the top.
Arriving at the 8,570 summit is such an incredible feeling. After you catch your breath and shake out those sore legs you can’t help but admire the absolutely incredible view. Feels like you can see breathtaking Colorado for miles and miles. It really does feel like you’re on top of the world!
I hung out on a big ol rock for awhile simply taking in the scene and obvi taking photos hehe.
My absolute favorite part of the whole day was the way down. Not just because it’s the way down ha but because of the incredible beauty along the Barr Trail!
Oh and because I RAN for most of the time with a big ol shit grin on my face. All while taking sweet action shots – multi-tasking talent baby 😉
I was for sure sore for like three straight days after! Definitely deserved a lavender Epsom soak and chiro adjustment
Seriously recommend the Manitou Incline to anyone interested in hiking in Colorado. Just take it easy and soak in the views if your lungs and legs aren’t quite ready for the challenge! Would love to see your beautiful photos and hear about your experience too!