If you are up for a challenging hike, The Incline Trail would serve as the best option. The trail is located in the Pike National Forest near Manitou Springs, Colorado. The loop trail has a length of 6.2 kilometers and its total elevation gain is 605 m. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
It’s definitely one of the most popular trails in Colorado, but it’s not suited for beginners. You should consider hiking this trail, only if you are an experienced hiker, as the trail is very challenging. In less than one mile, the trail gains over 1,983 feet of elevation. As you will be ascending a mountain, you would sweat a lot, so you should take enough water with you. It’s very important that you stay hydrated throughout the hike. The hike can be more challenging for some people, so if at any point you feel like you can’t continue, it’s better to take a break, and then head backward. The trail has over 2500 steps.
There are three bail points, with the two new return trails just added recently. The last bail point is at the mid of the hike and it takes you to the Barr Trail. There is a false summit, after this point, and this is where many hikers could reach. After this false summit, there are 300 steps more, before you reach the top. From the top, you will get a beautiful view of Colorado Springs.
Before you go hiking, you need to make an online reservation. You will receive an email with directions, rules, and regulations. You can park your vehicles at the Hiawatha parking lot, and you must take a picture of the parking receipt. There is also a parking lot at the Barr Trail, but it’s only for those who will take the Barr Trail and visit the National Forest.
Many hikers use this trail for training, as the hike forces you to push your boundaries. But you don’t have to finish the hike, just to prove anything. Take as many breaks as possible, and if necessary, return from one of the bail points. Maybe next time, you will be able to finish the hike.