We wouldn't exactly call it a walk, more like a hike, a really, really hard hike.
The Manitou Incline is a legendary workout. Yes, it is only about a mile long but in the mile you climb 2100 feet in elevation.
Hillary and I at the start. See that break in the trees, you think that is the end? No, it is the false summit, it goes up further, that was a shocker.
How sad that I have lived in Colorado for almost 30 years and had never hiked the Incline.
Since I am an inquisitive girl, I had to find out the history of this incline. I found some great websites loaded with information.
Completed in 1907 the Manitou Incline was a 1 mile cable tram built to support the construction of a hydroelectric plant and it's waterline. After performing this service the railway was then purchased by Dr. Brumbach and turned into a tourist attraction. The incline boasted a 16 minute ride to "scenic splendors", 10 miles of hiking trails in Mount Manitou Park, and claimed to be the "longest and highest incline on the globe."
Spencer Penrose bought the incline in 1923 and made it part of his tourist attraction empire, which is now owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Co. During this time the cars were upgraded to allow for a retractable roof and more safety. The summit station was again rebuilt in 1958 and lasted until it was dismantled upon closure of the incline.
The Manitou Incline became a prominant feature above Manitou Springs. It was a popular tourist attraction and remained busy for many years. However it was plagued with rockslides that made the maintenance costs very high.
1969 Summit Photo and the final version of car used on the incline.
The Incline tourist attraction closed in early 1990 and has become a very popular place for local hikers. And now we know why.
Me and Hillary
More to go
Hillary looking down
I found myself counting the railroad ties, "I'll take a break at 40." Or "If I can just take 20 more, I can sit and rest." Rumor has it there are about 3000 railroad ties. I counted to 40 several times. During the steepest parts, I counted to 5.
Hillary gets to the summit
And you can either hike back down (umm, no thanks) or take the 4 mile stretch of Barr Trail back to the parking lot.
Next Saturday we are going to take this "nice walk" again. Want to join us?