MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. – The Manitou Incline will reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday to those with reservations after it was closed for nearly five months due to overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone wishing to hike the Incline will have to make reservations first – which can be done by clicking here once the city opens the reservation portal. Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs reached a memorandum of understanding that was approved Tuesday to allow the popular hiking trail to open back up.
Reservations will be available for people to hike between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. For the first two weeks, 35 people will be able to obtain reservations for each half-hour period. Following that initial period, the cities will allow up to 45 people to make reservations for each half-hour.
Once a person has made a reservation, they will be emailed direction for parking along with the current rules and regulations – which currently require people to wear face coverings outdoors in Manitou Springs when at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be achieved.
Parking will be free at the Hiawatha lot, which is a little over a mile from the base in the Incline. Or people can pay to park at the Iron Springs Chateau.
Colorado Springs says that Manitou Springs is expected to resume its Ruxton Ave. shuttle between the Hiawatha lot and the Incline around Aug. 24.
Hikers who have reservations will have to check in at the bottom of the Incline, where they will be given a wristband by an attendant that they will have to wear at all times while on the property.
“We’ve all experienced a lot of change this year, and we know it can be challenging to adjust to new protocols, so we again thank users and ask for continued patience as we all get accustomed to the new reservation system, which we believe will help effectively manage volume on the trail,” said Karen Palus, the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director. “Since climbing the Incline is no small feat, we hope you view the reservation wristband as a token of accomplishment that you wear with pride during and after your hike!”
The Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department will manage and staff the reservation and check-in systems.