Stop what you're doing and climb "Colorado's Craziest Hike," the Manitou Incline. Obviously, there are thousands of trails you could enjoy without leaving the state. Regardless, this one should be your next destination. Here are my top five reasons why.

The Labor Day weekend offered a chance to drive over to Colorado Springs and climb Manitou Incline. This particular hike, which many call "Colorado's Holy Grail of Cardio," has become a social media sensation in 2018. It deserves your attention.

What's so special about this trail? Not much, really. It's less than a mile long. You do, however, climb close to 2,000 feet over the course of that mile. Each step is a railroad tie. There are 2,744 of these steps. About halfway up, this thing turns into a real thigh burner.

The climb really is a fitness challenge. The trail's base sits at over 6,000 feet. Add the 2,000 foot climb to it, and you're getting into some thin air. How fast can people do this? The record, set by Joseph Gray, stands at 17:45. My best time came in at one hour and 45 minutes.

Is the trail open to anyone? Yes, it's a free trail, but only those in good physical shape should attempt it. According to -

The trail is rated as difficult and recommended for physically active people and advanced hikers only. The Manitou Incline is not ADA accessible. Please be advised that it can take first responders up to 3-4 hours to reach you if you should have a medical issue on the trail.

Okay, so why am I pushing you to climb this? Here are my top five reasons.

  • It's a well maintained trail offering a great workout
  • You'll earn bragging rights
  • It's become something of a international sensation
  • It offers great views of Garden of the Gods and Colorado Springs
  • The hike is free, fun, and right here in Colorado

The only setback I see with this trail is they don't allow dogs. This is probably okay since most dogs probably wouldn't want to hike this trail. It's pretty much straight up, and there's not much in the way of things to investigate. Your dog would probably be happier staying at home.

Hit this trail the first chance you get. Keep in mind, it's not for everyone. It is, however, a challenge for anyone. Fortunately, it's right here in Colorado, and easy to get to. Be a part of this new social media sensation and climb the Manitou Incline.

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