Hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Northbound in 2013- sharing my preparation for the hike and my day to day experience while I'm on the trail. Inspiring people to follow their dreams.

The Incline- 2,000ft in 1 mile



The Incline

It was Sunday morning, the birds were chirping, and I was nicely snuggled in bed, rubbing my eyes to wake up.  I lifted my arms and thought about my day. I was headed to Colorado Springs to hike the Incline.  My legs were starting to hurt already.

The Incline is a 3.7-mile loop that gains 2,000 ft of elevation gain in the first mile alone.  It’s a collection of road ties that used to be a major attraction in the Manitou Springs area since 1907 when it was built to support a hydroelectric plant.  After the plant closed, they turned it into a tram system for tourists to take in the views of the surrounding area, including Pikes Peak and the town. Its billed as the “longest and highest incline on the globe”.


It’s a heart-pounding workout.  As you look up at the incline, it rises sharply, letting you know that this is not going to be fun at all.  As soon as you start walking up, your heart starts beating, you start sweating and your legs begin warming up.  I decided to carry a 30lb pack up the Incline so I could work the muscles in my back and get an even better workout.  It was mostly water weight but good enough for today.

On the Incline you see a mix of people; students, military people, runners and your average person getting a good leg workout.  The ties aren’t exactly evenly distributed. Some steps are higher then others, especially during the steepest parts, often requiring full lunges to make the next step.

It took me 1:08:26 to go from the bottom to the top.  I don’t know if that’s a good time or not, but I don’t really care.  I was here to get a good workout.  I wanted to work my legs out hard and this was the way to do it.  I’ll be back to the Incline several times before I leave because it’s a great for the legs and I like the torture.

5 thoughts on “The Incline- 2,000ft in 1 mile

  1. This looks like an awesome place for a workout.

  2. It was a great workout. My legs and lungs got a pounding. Also once you get to the top there are other connecting trails that I couldn’t resist exploring with my friend so I ended up adding about 2 miles to the total trip.

  3. Ohhh that looks killer, I know I have to do it and get my butt kicked!

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