You can hike a 2,744-step staircase to the clouds in Colorado

If you want to get a free workout or you are an avid hiker, this destination is the ideal place for you. Back in 2013, the Manitou Incline in Colorado was legalized for hiking. If you are looking for some cardio fun, you can hike up this incredibly steep, mile-long incline with 2,744 steps. There are plenty of people who have made it to the top, and they assure that the effort put in to get to the top is worth it.

The Incline Friends’ website reports that: “It is known as one of the most popular and challenging hikes in the Colorado Springs area. It is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, as steep as 68% in places with an average grade just over 40%, making it a fitness challenge for locals in the Colorado Springs area. The incline gains over 2,000 feet (610 m) of elevation in less than one mile, to a height of about 8,600′. It can be completed by Olympic athletes in around 20 minutes, but it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your fitness level.”


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When people climb this steep incline, they first reach something called a “False Summit,” where they think that they’ve reached the top. However, this is not the top, as they have done only part of the hike, and have 300 more feet to reach the actual summit. By the by, hikers can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.

These steps are the remains of the cable train made back in 1907 for the hydroelectric plant’s construction and was used to transport material and people to the top of Pike’s Peak. After the completion of the project, it was bought over by Dr. Newton M. Brumback, who converted it to a tourist attraction. However, Spencer Penrose bought it over again in 1923, who went on to rebuild the station. But, as the station was too expensive to maintain, it stopped working in 1990. As no changes were done to the railway, the railroad ties stayed intact, which ultimately created a natural stairway.


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Before you take this hike into the clouds, there are a few things you need to do, from reading all the requirements and regulations, checking the weather, to buying the appropriate gear. You also have to adjust to the altitude of Colorado Springs and stock up on plenty of water and energy snacks. Although you will be hiking up one route, the hike down will take you on a different trail, called Barr Trail.


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These days, due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, this hike has been closed off for all people. However, under normal circumstances, this advanced hike is open every day from 6 AM to 8 PM from April through October, and 6 AM to 6 PM from November through March. Even though there is no fee for the hike, there is a parking fee of $10. With an average time of completion of two to four hours, this hike is highly recommended for any physically active person or advanced hikers, and you won’t be allowed to take your pets on this hike.

Regardless of the number of steps to climb, the feeling of conquest makes hard work of getting up there worth it!