By receiving this highest standard of recognition, Gold Standard Sites are exemplary models, encouraging other public lands to ensure that Leave No Trace education is part of everyone’s experience when spending time outdoors. Learn more about what it means to be a Gold Standard Site here.
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
Hours of Operation
|6 a.m. - 3 p.m. (winter hours)
|45 reservations per 1/2 hour
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.
- You can reserve more than one slot at a time, however, please only reserve days and times you plan to use.
- You only need to make a reservation for the time you wish to check-in to start your climb.
To cancel your reservation please email InclineCancellation@coloradosprings.gov with your name and transaction ID. If only one person from your hike group is cancelling, please let us know who from the reservation we need to cancel.
Plan to arrive in time to find parking and allow plenty of time to get to the base on the Incline.
Where to park:
- See Parking Rates - Make sure to get a parking pass from the meter, tear the ticket on the marked line, leave the top part of your ticket on your dash and take the bottom section with you as your proof of parking. Enter your phone number when making your reservation to receive alerts when your parking is about to expire and extend if needed. Visit the Manitou Springs website for more information regarding parking at the Hiawatha Gardens lot.
- The free shuttle runs from Hiawatha Gardens to the Incline between the hours of 6:00am and 6:00pm:
- Approximately every 20 minutes between these times
- Masks are no longer required to board the bus, but riders are welcome and encouraged to wear them
- The shuttle does not run on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day
- 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.
- Parking is $15 per car for 4 hours - cash only
- Parking is on a first come first served system
May close early if a show is scheduled. Follow them on facebook for closure announcements.
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.
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.
Leave No Trace
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 lnt.org
|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. Use trash receptacles or pack out what you packed in to ensure a beautiful experience for all to enjoy. Plastic water bottles and chewing gum remain the most littered items on the trail; set a good example for other users by packing yours out! Food scraps, such as orange peels and nut shells, are litter too and should be packed out.
|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.
- 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
When is a reservation required to hike the Manitou Incline?
The City of Colorado Springs requires a reservation between the hours of 6:00am and 6:30pm over the Summer season (6:00am and 3:00pm over Winter), 7 days a week. Accessing the Incline outside these hours is prohibited.
Can I walk up without a reservation?
Access is given by the attendants based on capacity availability and the current no-show rate.
Be aware: The attendant may require you to wait up to 15 to 30 mins during high volume hours.
How much does a reservation cost?
A reservation to hike the Manitou Incline is free.
How far in advanced can i make a reservation?
The Reservation system allows for reservations to be made for 4 to 8 weeks in advanced.
The system only allows for the current and next month. (So if it is the end of the month, only the rest of the current month and the next month will be available.)
We're running a little behind schedule. What should we do?
No worries! Take your time and arrive safe. The attendants will check you in once you arrive and you can do your hike.
The website states we need to show proof of parking, but we are being dropped off by someone. What do we do in this situation?
That’s fine - just let the attendants know when you check in that you were dropped off, and they will make note of it in their records.