Saturday, September 29, 2012

The time we hiked Manitou Incline

So I just wanted to go back and do a review on an awesome hike we did this summer. We took a road trip out to Colorado Springs to see my son and daughter in law and of course my gorgeous granddaughter. 

We happened to be there during the horrible fire. So many people were evacuated and so many things were closed. We had wanted to go to Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods both of which were closed most of the time we were there. At the end of our trip we went to Manitou Springs (the whole town had been evacuated) and we spent the day shopping and had lunch. Manitou Springs is a cute little town nestled right at the base of Pike's Peak. We also noticed the Manitou Incline going straight up towards Pikes Peak.  We weren't able to go up Pikes Peak either by car or the train the whole trip because of the fire so this incline hike was very intriguing. 

What is the Manitou Incline? It was originally a cable car to for materials and I think people right up the base of Pikes Peak. It eventually fell into ruins and wasn't used but locals used it for a crazy workout. Part of it is on private property so my research kept warning that it was illegal to hike up it. But I think it's legal now. 

It basically goes 1 mile straight up the mountain. Elevation gain is 2000 ft with an average grade of 40% but the max grade is 68%!!!!!  It was crazy! I turned on my running app and here is the chart:

Apparently some of the Olympic athletes run up it for training. Apollo Ohno ran up it unofficailly in 17 minutes. I was going to hike it with my husband and son andallthe girls chose to sit this one out. I was thinking it would take about an hour. They are in great shape and I felt like I was in pretty good shape. We had been running alot for training and I thought by then I was used to the elevation. Everything I read said an hour would be a pretty good time. My husband and son basically hit the trail and took off. This is what I saw of them:

I was left gasping for air. I was shocked at how I still wasn't used to the altitude. When we toured the Olympic training center they said it takes about 3-6 weeks to acclimate and I believe it. The most steep parts I was stopping about every 10 steps. I finally joined a family and their 8 and 10 year old daughters were very encouraging to me. It was very sweet. I think I could have passed them but it was nice to have some company. And at the steepest parts I was getting dizzy and so scared I was going to fall. Yikes. Some parts of the trail were pretty torn up and hard to maneuver up.

I think I saw 2 or 3 people running down but most people take the alternative hike down which I think is 4 miles. It took my husband and son 1 hour to make it to the top. Then they came back to get me and I made it at about 1:10. It was definately a hike of a life time and the view was incredible.

Me and my husband 

And with my handsome son.

The trail we took down (NOT the incline) is also the trail they use for the Pike's Peak Marathon. You basically run 13.1 miles up the trail and 13.1 miles down the trail. We saw alot of people running up and down. It was awesome and I'm so glad I did it. You never know if you'll ever have the opportunity again so you might as well. Carpe 
Diem, yolo, and all that:)

One crazy thing I read about the Manitou Incline was they have an Incline Beer Mile as well. No light beer. Every 400 meters you drink a beer. Don't puke or you're disqualified.
Winner did it in 25:45. Here's the video to inspire you. 

So if you find yourself in Colorado Springs you really should hike up the Inclune. Take your time, enjoy the view and don't forget your water ....or beer;)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Wow, that looks crazy! Can you just eat snacks at the bottom? That would be what I would volunteer to do. And your family with really cute, especially that little grandbaby. Adorable!

  3. *is

    not sure how that came out as "with"