The Manitou Incline has been called "Colorado's Craziest Hike." I was planning to drive to Colorado Springs tonight so I could hike it in the morning. Here are five reasons why that isn't going to happen.

I've climbed Manitou Incline a number of times, and for some weird, perverted reason, love it. Until recently, it never occurred to me to ask if one could climb it in the winter. I assumed it closed down in the fall.

Well, it seems I was wrong (again). According to the Manitou Incline official site, the hikes operating hours are:

  • 6 AM to 8 PM from April 1st to October 31st
  • 6 AM to 6 PM from November 1st to March 31st

Seriously? Do people hike this monster in the winter? With snow? When it's cold? By choice? Are people really supposed to do that?

Okay, since many people, over 1,000 per day at some points during the year, enjoy climbing this, what's to stop them in the winter? Well, a foot of snow might stop them. Then again, apparently not.

According to ManitouIncline.net (not an official page), these are a few things to consider when hiking in the snow:
1 - Screw Shoes - Simple, cost-effective, lightweight, and won't fall off.
2 - Microspikes - Durable, easy, and great traction.
3 - Nanospikes - Really these are a tie with my number 2 recommendation, they're just better when there isn't as much snow.

Wow! These are brave, determined people. To think, I thought it was macho climbing this thing in April. Guess not. Here's a shot from my last hike in September 2018.

Waylon Jordan

Keep in mind, Manitou Incline starts at a base of 6,600 feet, and then climbs 2,000 feet in only .88 miles.

I've been dreaming all week about making the climb Saturday morning. Sometime late last night reality kicked in and I woke up to the hard truth... there's no way I'm climbing this thing tomorrow morning. Here are my top five reasons why:

  • I'm not entirely sure I could make it to Colorado Springs. Frisco, Colorado, has a winter storm warning in effect right now through midday Sunday. I take I-70 to Frisco, and then turn towards Breckenridge. That's not going to happen tonight.
  • Manitou Springs has a Winter Weather advisory Saturday through Sunday.
  • Saturday's temperature in Manitou Springs will be around eight degrees. No thanks.
  • I-70 at Vail already has tire restrictions in effect as of noon today.
  • My GPS cuts out during that stretch of road between Breckenridge and that little town where you turn east towards Colorado Springs. I stress enough when making this trip in the summer. Driving it at night in the snow? Forget it.

Abort Mission! Perhaps I'll go to the movies. This could give "Netflix and Chill" an all new meaning. Manitou Incline is there for your enjoyment. It'll still be there in May. I think I'll go in May.