Manitou Incline

Stairs to heaven, that’s all I could think about when approaching what feels like an endless amount of stairs up the side of a mountain. At nearly a mile of all stairs, I felt giddy and nervous. I flew into Denver mid-day Friday and spent time wandering around downtown drinking, laughing, and essentially prancing about the city with childlike glee. Our plan was a short weekend getaway to surprise a friend and celebrate a birthday. We did all those in abundance and Sunday was not only departure day, but also hiking day.

Living in Minnesota, I had concerns about altitude sickness. Resulting in wanting to have at least some time to adapt which the last day as an ideal one to fit in Manitou Incline. Over the weekend I talked (read forced) 3 other souls to climb with me. So, dehydrated but determined the 1.5 hour drive south ensued. After paying our $10 to park, the steps were up.

It was a slow couple hours to the top with a plethora of stops to snap pictures, drink water, and bring my heart rate down to an acceptable, non-dying level. Many articles had warned about not getting duped by the fake top. That only helped soften the blow when another 500 or so steps come into sight. Once at the top, the type 2 fun regained the appeal as I felt pride in making it as well as happiness as I took in the beauty.

After wandering around, having a snack, and drinking some more water it was time to head down the Barr Trail. This 4 mile trail lets you avoid the knee killing walk down the stairs. It is a very long series of switchbacks full of generous views on this spring day including glimpses of the Garden of the Gods. This slow decline was a welcome change after the nearly 1,800 steps to the top. After about 4 hours, we made it back to the vehicle just in time to drop the rental car off and catch the shuttle to the airport. If only I had known my flight would be delayed for hours, I could have enjoyed more time in the mountains instead of lounging in the airport.


Until next time!

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