In Colorado, You Can Hike A 2,744-Step Staircase Up To The Clouds


There are many reasons for discovering nature, but one of the most interesting ways is to go hiking in different places. By setting the hiking tours you can let your mind wander and clear your head. If you go on easy hikes, all you need to do is to lace up a pair of comfortable shoes, however, the more challenging tours get the demands on equipment, condition, and much higher technique.

The destination that proves a challenge for all who love hiking is the Manitou Incline in Colorado.

The History of Manitou Incline

This Incline was built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and then turned into a tourist attraction to bring guests to the top of the foothills. There visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of Colorado Springs and the eastern plains.


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When the rails were removed, the railroad ties remained in the form of a massive staircase and the locals started using it for a challenging workout, but until February 2013, hiking up the ties of the old cable car line was illegal. Due to the cooperation among private and public entities, this private property became an official hiking trail in 2013.

Manitou Incline Statistics:

  • Mileage: 4.95 miles (0.95 miles up and 4 miles down)
  • Number of Steps: 2,744
  • Elevation Gain: 1,912 feet
  • Maximum Elevation: 8.573 feet
  • Maximum Grade: 68%
  • Average Grade: 45%
  • Average Time to Complete: 2-4 hours (roundtrip)
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trailhead Location: View map

With 2 744 steps, this is a cardio fun, and those who make it to the top assure others that the effort is definitely worth it! This incline gains over 2,000 feet (610 m) of elevation in less than one mile. The average people are completing it for 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on their fitness level, while by the Olympic athletes it is necessary around 20 minutes.

On their way to the top, first, people reach something called a ‘False Summit,’ but, they should continue to climb 300 more feet to reach the breathtaking view, such as the Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.

Before going to that heart-pounding trail, everyone should be aware of the regulations and requirements, to check the weather conditions, to take plenty of energy snacks and water, and finally to be prepared for the altitude of the Colorado Springs.


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Record of ascents

As with many other record-breaking challenges, Manitou Springs resident Greg Cummings has set himself the goal of breaking the record for most hikes to the legendary Manitou Incline in one year which is 1,720 ascents.

This feat would average about five climbs on vertical outdoor staircases each day. He started climbing on January 12, 2019, hoping to take a record from his good friend Roger Austin who has 1,719 ascents in 2015.


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Closed Due to COVID-19

On March 17th, 2020 Manitou Springs city council voted to close the Manitou Incline due to health concerns with COVID-19. It has remained closed since then, but you can enjoy watching the video below:

In normal conditions, it is open every day from 06:00am-08:00pm (01.04 to 31.10), and 06:00am-06:00pm from 01.11 to 31.03. The hike is free, but the parking costs $10. No pets are allowed. Other Q&A you can find here.


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