Manitou Springs Incline

RT Length: 4.72 miles

Elevation Gain: 2331’

Date: 12-13-2020

Partner:  SkyDiverHiker

I haven’t been to the Manitou Springs Incline since they’ve implemented the reservation system, but since there was high avalanche danger all across the state, I figured today was a good day to go.  The reservations were free, and easy to obtain.  There are 25 slots open every half hour for reservation, and I secured the last two.  However, when we arrived we only passed/say about 8 other people all day, and no one was enforcing the permit system.  Maybe they took a snow day?

We paid to park while it was still dark and headed up the trail.  It was 12 degrees outside, and SkyDiverHiker had on his new gloves.  We weren’t sure if we were going to hike the incline once or twice today, so we decided to take it slow.  We also wanted to see the sunrise, and we knew at our normal speed we’d get there half an hour before it happened, so if we went a little slower we’d stay warm longer.  Check out our view of Manitou Springs

We kept the pace slow and steady.  About halfway up SkyDiverHiker’s calves started cramping up, so we decided to make this a one and done day.

It took us about 40 minutes to reach the top, so we had a bit of waiting to do.

We took a selfie at the top:  notice how cold it is?  My hair is frozen! 

While we waited I got out my new photography sphere.  I took a bunch of photos, trying to figure out how it worked.  Unfortunately, it was still really cold outside, and my phone froze.  The stylus didn’t work and my fingers were numb, so I didn’t get as many pictures as I’d of liked.  I need some more practice. 

It seemed to take forever for the sun to rise!

Jill and her husband met us at the top, and she took a few sphere photos too.  Then we were off, back down the trail

Halfway down we had someone ask us if we’d seen a dog.  No, we hadn’t, but a few minutes later a medium sized black mutt raced past us.  We ended seeing the dog again and were able to coax it to us.  We retraced our steps back up the trail to the owners, who were grateful, but I had to ask them if they had a leash?  They looked confused, said “Oh yeah”, and got it out and put it on the dog.   When we got back to the truck it was still 12 degrees outside!  Brrrr!

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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