Can You Climb Manitou Incline in the Middle of Winter?
The Manitou Incline has been called "Colorado's Craziest Hike." It's challenging, even in mild weather. Is it possible to climb the incline in winter?
I've climbed Manitou Incline a number of times, and for some weird, perverted reason, love it. 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? 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.
Keep in mind, Manitou Incline starts at a base of 6,600 feet, and then climbs 2,000 feet in only .88 miles.
I spoke to a good friend of mine yesterday. She lives not far from the incline. According to her, the area has enjoyed 50-degree temperatures the last few days. Perhaps this isn't a bad time to climb. Tell you what - you go give it try, and then let me know.
Before you do anything, please remember this important warning listed on Manitou Incline's official site:
If you need medical attention on the Incline, it could take First Responders over an hour to get to you.
If you're looking for a break from the winter blues, why not hike a mile at close to a 45-degree angle right in the middle of a Colorado winter. Manitou Incline is there for your enjoyment. Have fun. We'll compare notes when I make the hike again next April.