Elevation gain: 1125'
Trails used: Incline Trail.
My brother's wife, Melinda wanted to do this hike which is near the Pikes Peak Cog Railway station. We knew the weather was going to be iffy, as monsoonal rain had been falling steadily the day before into the day we planned to hike. When we arrived, we thought we might have a window of opportunity for better weather but it was not to be.
The Manitou Incline, or Incline as it is commonly called, is located in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The trail is an old railway/tram that washed out due to a slide in the 1990's. For awhile, the trail was off limit's but was recently opened to the public for hiking. There used to even be a building on the "summit", which was demolished around the same time as the tracks being removed.
The Incline gains over 2000 feet in less than one mile, and is a fitness challenge for the locals and other's who want to test it's steep grades (the highest which is about 68%).
For more info, head here the Manitou Incline web page , Manitou Incline Youtube video or Manitou Incline Facebook page
Tim (my brother) and Melinda (his wife) starting out from the parking area. Also joining us was Melinda's sister Rita (not pictured). Her other sister Elsa went with her son up the Cog to the summit of Pikes Peak (also another nice thing to do in the area).
At the bottom of the old rail system, looking up. The views would be obscured by the clouds for the whole climb up.
The trail going up. It starts off steep and gets worse. It stays like this all the way up.
A little view from an overlook area along the trail. I believe it was some sort of maintenance path that leads down and around the power lines.
Oh how I miss cactus (from my days back home in Texas). Okay, no. Not really.
Some interesting pink flowers along side the incline. Not exactly sure what they are.
In some places, the erosion and evidence of the slide is pretty evident. Still steep in this spot.
Like I said, not much for views today. It rained, then stopped, then started again. Rinse and repeat for about 3+ hours (actually more since it rained all day).
Higher up the incline looking back down to the parking area.
I made it a little further up from this point but pretty much decided to turn around and head down. The views were non-existent, the rain was coming down steadily and I was still sore from hiking Mount Elbert earlier in the week.
Heading back down towards the beginning of the trail, as the clouds started to part somewhat and the rain let up slightly.
While we waited for Melinda and her sister Rita, we were graced with the presence of a small herd of mule deer. It looked to be about 5 does and 1 buck, all very young.
I was about 10 feet from this female as she nibbled on the vegetation along the trail.
The lone young buck mule deer of the herd. He made his presence known with me, as I was a little too close on the trail.
This hike definitely lived up to its billing as a steep climb and tough workout. It was too bad the weather didn't cooperate much as the views would be top notch and it would be a good full hike to get in. Next time I head to Colorado I will give this one another shot and most assuredly conquer it.