Manitou Incline prepares for summer hikers, free online reservations required

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As residents and visitors start planning summer activities, including what to do over Memorial Day weekend, the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department is sharing a few reminders for those who plan to hike the Manitou Incline. The free online reservation system, which began last year, is still in place through a memorandum of understanding between the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Hikers must show proof of their reservation, plus proof of parking to an onsite attendant.

“The first principle of Leave No Trace is to plan ahead and prepare,” said Gillian Rossi, park ranger supervisor. “I can’t think of more important advice to follow when it comes to the Incline. From making your free reservation, to having a parking plan, bringing enough water and snacks, to checking the weather ahead of your hike, your entire experience will benefit if you take the time to plan ahead and prepare.”

Reservations are available between 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Every 30 minutes, up to 65 people can reserve a spot between 6-10 a.m., 45 people between 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 25 people between 2-6 p.m. Visit ColoradoSprings.gov/Incline to make a reservation up to one week in advance.

After making a reservation, users will receive a welcome email with requirements for parking, rules and regulations. Parking is available at Hiawatha Gardens for $1/hour, or users can make a reservation and pay to park at the Iron Springs Chateau. There is a free 22-person shuttle from Hiawatha to the Incline that runs every 20 minutes from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and every 10 minutes between 6 a.m.-4 p.m. and every 20 minutes between 4-8 p.m. on weekends. For those who don’t take the shuttle from Hiawatha, prepare for a 1.3 mile walk to the Incline. Incline hikers are prohibited from parking in the Barr Trail parking lot or along Ruxton Avenue and Winter Street. Barr Lot is meant only for those hiking into the Pike National Forest.

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