Manitou Incline Trail to close for repair work

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - One of Colorado's oddest and steepest trails will close Monday for repair work.

The Manitou Incline Trail in Manitou Springs features 2,741 steps. The 0.8-mile trail gains 2,000 feet in elevation. The average grade of the trail is 43 percent and at one point, the trail has a 68 percent grade.

The trail is so steep that visitors are asked to only hike up the tracks and walk down a different trail.

However, the Incline has slowly been eroding since the cable car quit operating in 1990, according to the city of Colorado Springs. 

During the four-month closure, crews will:

  • Repair and replace damaged retaining walls
  • Cleanup rebar and loose debris
  • Construct additional drainage structures
  • Stabilize existing ties and surrounding slopes

When the Manitou Incline opened in 1907 it was one-mile cable tram used to access water tanks at the top of the mountain and used as a tourist attraction.

"The Incline boasted a 16-minute ride to scenic splendor sand ten miles of hiking trails in Mt. Manitou Park, and claimed to be the longest and highest incline on the globe," according to

At some point after the tram closed in 1990, hikers began trekking up the old railroad ties. For years, it was illegal, but that didn't stop visitors.

The city of Colorado Springs said in 2010, the three property owners - Colorado Springs Utilities, the COG Railway, and the US Forest Service – worked together with the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs to open the Incline for legal recreational use.

Actor Kevin Bacon hiked the Incline this summer, then posted on Facebook that it almost killed him.

Bacon posted on Facebook that the record time is 16:42. His time? 54:02.



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