Manitou Incline

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Apolo Ohno - Manitou Incline Spot 1

The Manitou Incline is one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado. The Incline is steep. It gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile. The base of the Incline is located in Manitou Springs near the base of the Barr Trail and across the street from the Cog Railroad


Free Reservations Required

The Manitou Incline is open. All users are required to make a free reservation online before their hike. This system is in response to concerns by the Manitou Springs City Council regarding crowding during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reservations will help staff manage the volume of people on the Incline at any given time.

Reservation Process

Reservations are open seven days in advance. Be sure to bring your confirmation, either on your phone or printed. City of Colorado Springs Parks’ staff will greet you and check you in at the base of the Incline. 

  • Reservations are available 6am – 6:30pm
  • You can reserve more than one slot at a time, however, please only reserve days and times you plan to use. You may also reserve a time slot for another user, but please limit group reservations to four hikers per time slot.
  • Up to 45 reservations are available for each 30-minute time slot.  
  • Reservations are for the time you will arrive at the Incline; you do not need to reserve sessions for the amount of time you will spend on the trail.
  • **Please email to cancel your reservation if you will not be able to make your scheduled time. 

Incline Parking

Plan to arrive in time to find parking and allow plenty of time to get to the base on the Incline. Proof of parking from one of these locations must be presented during check-in at the base of the Incline.

Where to park:

Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot located at 10 Old Man’s Trail:

  • Parking costs $1/hour - Make sure to get a parking pass from the meter, take a picture (to act as proof of parking) and leave the ticket on your dash.  Enter your phone number when making your reservation to receive alerts when your parking is about to expire and extend if needed.
  • The free shuttle runs from Hiawatha Gardens to the Incline between the hours of 6:00am and 8:00pm:
    • Approximately every 20 minutes between these times
    • Sat/Sun approximately every 10 minutes between 6:00am and 4:00pm
  • Capacity is currently restricted to 75% (22 passengers) per trip so you may need to wait during busy periods.
  • If you do not wish to wait why not walk to the Incline and add to your hike! A map from parking to the Incline can be found here.

Iron Springs Chateau Parking 444 Ruxton Ave:

  • Fee-based parking - Make sure to get a parking pass from the attendant.
  • Reservations required. ISC Hiking Parking

Where not to park:

  •  Incline users are not allowed to park in Barr Lot. Barr Lot is only available to users seeking access to the National Forest, via Barr Trail. You will not be granted access to the Incline if you park in Barr Lot.
  • Parking along Ruxton Avenue and Winter St. is only for Residential Parking Permits (RPPs), which are issued by Manitou Springs.  Parking on Ruxton Avenue and Winter St. without a Residential Parking Permit will result in a parking ticket.

COVID-19 Guidelines

In response to COVID-19, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Stay home when sick. Do not use the Incline if you or anyone in your household is exhibiting symptoms.
  • Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to, during and after use of the Incline.
  • Bring hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
  • Face coverings are not required when using the Incline. However, when you cannot maintain a physical distance of 6-feet from members of other households, for example when checking in or passing others on the Incline or Barr Trail, face coverings should be used.
  • Face coverings are currently required both indoors and outdoors in Manitou Springs through an emergency order when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • While passing, warn other users of your presence before you pass, and step aside to let others pass.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made through our easy online reservation system. The webpage shows available times and how many people have reservations at a certain time to help you avoid larger crowds.

Reserve a hike online

Incline Rules 

  • Smoking prohibited
  • No pets allowed
  • Littering prohibited
  • Creation of rogue trails prohibited
  • Open fires and burning prohibited
  • Do not climb down the Incline. Use the Barr Trail for your downhill journey
  • Stay on the trail at all times
  • Do not feed any of the wildlife you encounter on your hike
  • Respect other visitors; keep a safe distance whenever possible and if listening to music bring headphones

Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles

The City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services department is proudly partnered with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in order to promote environmental stewardship and safeguard the natural, cultural, and historical resources that make Colorado Springs such a fantastic place to live and visit. Follow the Leave No Trace Seven Principles to help keep our parks, trails, and open spaces healthy and sustainable. Learn more at

Plan ahead and prepare. A little preparation goes a long way! Do you have enough water and snacks? Are you acclimated to the elevation? Checking the forecast and reading the Manitou Incline regulations will help prepare you for your ascent.
Travel on durable surfaces. The only thing easy about this trail is that you never have to worry about getting lost! As you make your way up, please stay on the clear path of travel. Veering off-trail contributes to erosion which could cause a slippery slope indeed.
Dispose of waste properly. Since there are no trash receptacles at the trailhead, nor along the trail itself, please be sure to pack out what you packed in to ensure a beautiful experience for all to enjoy. Remember, food waste is litter.
Leave what you find. From cool looking rocks to historical railroad features, the Manitou Incline is full of fascinating finds! Remember to take pictures of these fun items and leave them where they are for other trail users to discover and enjoy.
Be careful with fire. Sparks and thickly vegetated areas do not mix well. Fires, grilling, and smoking are prohibited at the Manitou Incline. Help us protect this unique area from unnecessary wildfires.
Respect wildlife. Please observe all wildlife, including those cute chipmunks, from safe distances and never feed them. Feeding wildlife ruins their health, alters their natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
Be considerate of others. Practice recreational empathy! Enhance the experience of other Incline visitors by sharing the trail and putting in headphones to reduce noise pollution for wildlife and other hikers.


This is a vigorous and intense hike, complete with a false summit! The trail is recommended for physically active people and those adjusted to the elevation. Although the trail is just one mile in length, it is a 2,000 ft elevation gain straight up a steep, uneven staircase!

Watch this virtual hike from the Trails and Open Space Coalition to get an idea of what to expect.

Are you ready? Please plan ahead and prepare.  

  • Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
  • Make sure to properly hydrate by drinking water the evening before your reservation.
  • Check the weather. Summer thunderstorms are common in this area; you do not want to be on the Incline when lightning is present.
  • Do you have proper clothes and footwear? Sneakers or sturdy hiking shoes are strongly recommended.
  • Visiting from a lower elevation? Allow your body to properly acclimate a few days before hiking the Incline.

Manitou Incline Safety

Manitou Incline Management Plan