The Manitou Incline is an unofficial Impossible Challenge located in Manitou Springs, Colorado – just outside Colorado Springs – about 90 minutes south of Denver.
It’s one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado and just because it’s short (less than a mile) does NOT mean it’s easy. This sucker is tough!
The Manitou Incline Challenge (Video)
Table of Contents
The Manitou Incline Stats
A quick primer on some essential stats you need to know:
Location: Manitou Springs, CO
Elevation: 6600 ft (2000m)
Distance: .85 mile hike
Elevation gain: 2,000 ft
Total steps: 2,744
Record time: 17:45 (Joseph Gray)
Record time (women): 20:07 (Allie McLaughlin)
Difficulty: Hard AF (actual statistics)
Note: you need to hike down a 3 mile trail on the way down (but it’s much, much easier).
There are 3 bailout points and 1 false summit which is designed to dash your hopes and dreams and help you invent new curse words.
The Manitou Incline History
The Incline was originally constructed for practical reasons – to provide water to the won. It was originally a railroad, but as the need for a water system declined – the railway washed out in 1990 and the track was closed.
Racing The Manitou Incline
Jason Fitzgerald at Strength Running, Niki Veldman, and I raced the Manitou Incline.
Who will win? Watch it below:
Take the Manitou Incline Challenge
Want to do something impossible? Take on the incline challenge.
- Run the incline.
- Post your times.
- Do something impossible.
Get after it.
Incline “Ultra” Challenges
If you really want to get after it – you can go after two extra Incline records – the Inclination & the Ultra Inclination
The inclination is a challenge to run the incline 13 times as fast as possible. The current record is owned by Wade Gardner – done in 10 hours, 34 minutes.
The Ultra Inclination
The ultra inclination is a challenge to run the incline as many times as possible within 24 hours. The current record is owned by Brandon Stapanowich – who completed it in 22 times in 24 hours.