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TIPS FOR THE INCLINE

This is an EXTREME workout and not for the faint of heart. It is recommended that you give yourself ample time to adjust to the Colorado altitude before tackling the Incline. Once you feel acclimated and ready, be sure to bring water and sip it along the way. Remember that Incline Base Camp has water, energy drinks and nutritional bars if you need extra energy. Take your time reaching the top. Wear plenty of sunscreen as the sun will beat down on you and shade is limited. Don't forget to step to the side and rest if you need to. Most importantly, DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE DEEPLY!

HIKING IN THE AREA

Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region offer incredible opportunities for hikers of all types; whether you are a world-class competitor or a weekend warrior, there are great trails and roads to be explored. The region is world-class in its variety of hiking, running, and biking trails and offers access and proximity to amenities like top-notch lodging and dining. The trails are almost totally deserted on weekdays, even in the height of summer! Scroll down for more information on Seasonal and Year Round Hiking Trails.

YEAR ROUND HIKING TRAILS

One does not need to travel farther than the Garden of the Gods to experience some incredible trails and roads for hiking and running year round. The City of Colorado Springs has an excellent section on their website showing many trails (including Garden of the Gods, Palmer Park, Cheyenne Canyon and Red Rock Canyon).

Garden of the Gods (with map) is a free city park that offers one the options of driving through the area and hiking on gravel or pavement. Several of the trails in this park, such as the Niobara/Ute Trails, offer spectacular views of the rock formations and city below.

Palmer Park (with map) is a large park in the middle of the city where the views are beautiful and the trails are almost always clear of snow and ice. The east side features spectacular views of Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and downtown Colorado Springs. Templeton Trail offers fantastic views of the surrounding areas, especially when it peaks on the bluff.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space (with map) is the newest Colorado Springs City Park, offering some of the best views in town. The majority of the trails here, including Contemplation Trail, lead to the top of the park where the vast panoramas take your breath away.

SEASONAL TRAILS: SPRING, SUMMER, AND FALL

The main trail within the area is Barr Trail. It is a 13 mile, 8000-foot trek from Manitou Springs to the Summit of Pikes Peak. Locals hike this trail all year long, but in the winter it can become very icy on the switchbacks, especially in the shade so be cautious. Additionally in winter, once the trail gets above timberline, it can become obscured and difficult to find in all the snow; usually crampons and an ice axe are needed in winter. A good intro to the trail is to walk the 7½ miles to Barr Camp where you can get updated weather info and restock on supplies. While Barr Trail is impressive, its sheer length is what makes it so daunting and difficult. The first few miles are very difficult, with many switchbacks, with the next few miles leveling out and offering the occasional view of the Summit. After you leave Barr Camp, you once again begin to climb in earnest. This is where the altitude starts to affect a person's metabolism. If you don't have a plan for coming down, be prepared to walk back down. Thunderstorms in the summer and snow in the winter can shut the summit house down and prevent the trains and highway staff from making it to the summit or force their early departure. For this trek, ALWAYS have extra warm (rain/snow proof) clothing and plenty of water and snacks! Check out Open Street Map for more info on this trail or stop by the Cog Railway Depot to pick up a map for $0.25.

Other seasonal trails in the area include:

Cheyenne Canyon (with trail map):
This scenic area includes great hikes like Columbine, Stratton Open Space and Buckhorn Cutoff/Captain Jacks.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park (with trail map) - note that there is a day fee for this park unless you own a Colorado State Park Pass

Aiken Canyon (with trail map) - allows hikes on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – no pets or bikes allowed.

NEARBY GEOCACHES

Looking to compliment your hike on the Incline or leave your mark in a fun, interactive way? Go to Geocaches to find nearby geocaches.