The Incline Trail

Ruxton Ave
Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Completed in 1907 the Manitou Incline was a 1 mile cable tram built to support the construction of a hydroelectric plant and it's waterline. After performing this service the railway was then purchased by Dr. Brumbach and turned into a tourist attraction. The incline boasted a 16 minute ride to "scenic splendors", 10 miles of hiking trails in Mount Manitou Park, and claimed to be the "longest and highest incline on the globe." As seen in this postcard the 1914 replacement summit house was much more elaborate. This building was able to accomodate a store on the summit and also provide a more protected building in which riders could seek shelter in the event of a storm. Spencer Penrose bought the incline in 1923 and made it part of his tourist attraction empire, which is now owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Co. During this time the cars were upgraded to allow for a retractable roof and more safety. The summit station was again rebuilt in 1958 and lasted until it was dismantled upon closure of the incline. At the base of the incline several businesses flourished in their day. Joseph Hiestand owned a curio store named the Ute Iron Springs. The Manitou Casino was at the base for several years. There even was a Manitou Electric Railway known as the Dinky Trolley that ran from the Stratton Loop Station on Manitou Avenue up to the Casino and Cog Station over what is now the Intemann Trail. In 1990 the Manitou Incline closed after a rockslide damaged the tracks again and the Cog Railway decided to cease the failing operation and focus on the profitable Cog Railway. Ever since then the route has seen a steady stream of runners, joggers, hikers, walkers, and even some crawlers. The route is short and steep, gaining nearly 2000 feet of elevation in 3/4 of a mile it is truely a Colorado workout.
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