(Note: This hike is not for the average visitor to Colorado Springs – it is very challenging and also somewhat illegal)
Today, we’re taking on a Colorado Springs right-of-passage: The Incline. It’s one of the most notorious in the area, and also one of the most visible (you can see it etched into the mountain side from just about anywhere in town). And it’s not hard to see why:
The incline was a scenic railroad until the early 90s, and the trail is composed of the old rail ties – leaving you with a very long, very steep staircase into the mountains. If you’re wanting to hike, head south from Manitou Avenue (left if you’re coming from town, right if you’re coming from the mountains) at the roundabout in Manitou Springs – follow signs for the Cog Railroad. There is a charge now for the parking lot at the base of the trail head for the Incline and Barr Trail, and you can’t park in the Cog Rail parking lot either so I’d recommend snatching up any available spot as you head up the road.
If you start up the trail and then freak out – don’t fear. About half way up the Incline is the Bail Out Point, where you can hop on over to Barr Trail which takes you down to the same spot, but at much more gentle slope. Barr Trail is also accessible from the top of the incline, and that’s what I usually take down (head to the left when you reach the summit).
You are definitely rewarded for your efforts at the top with beautiful views of the Springs (can you spot Garden of the Gods?). Pretty sure my husband would hike this on a weekly basis, but I’m more a so-you-can-say-you-did-it kinda gal. Either way, nothing like conquering something that looks fairly impossible, right?
What are you conquering today?