Incline back open, now with reservations required

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:40 AM MDT
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MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - For the first time in nearly five months, hikers have the green light to climb the Manitou Incline.

The Incline officially reopened Thursday at 6 a.m. -- though with a slight difference from pre-pandemic. The Incline is now reservation-based, limiting the number of hikers on the trail to 35 people allowed to start their hike every half hour. After two weeks, 45 people will be allowed every half-hour.

Officials are calling on the public to comply with the new procedures.

“There will be enforcement,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “If you don’t have a reservation, that would be considered trespass. People who try to cut the trail, that is trespass, and there will be personnel up there to regulate that.”

New policies include:

  • Hikers who drive and park must provide proof a reservation was made online
  • Can reserve up to 1 week in advance
  • Parking will be in Hiawatha Gardens and Iron Springs Chateau lots
  • Incline will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Hikers will be given wristbands they must wear
  • Attendants will be out for enforcement
  • Reservations for more than four people must be made through the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department

Violators could face a $45 trespassing ticket if caught.

“It is really important,” said Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Karen Palus of complying with the rules. “We want to make sure that Manitou is comfortable with the amount of folks that are coming into the community. COVID has been a very big concern for them.”

For most Incline enthusiasts, they’re just glad to get back on their favorite trail.

“I really miss just looking at the really pretty view that is up there,” said Colorado Springs resident Alex Hill.

Masks will not be required on the Incline unless hikers find themselves unable to be 6 feet apart.

“We don’t want any additional search and rescues because folks get overheated with those masks on,” Palus said.

Click here to begin the reservation process.

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