MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– After being closed for nearly five months, the Manitou Incline will reopen on Thursday. There will be a reservation system among other changes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
All incline users must make a free online reservation before hiking and show proof of the reservation to an onsite attendant.
City leaders with Manitou Springs decided to limit reservations to 35 spots every half hour. After two weeks, that would be increased to 45 hikers in the same time frame. All hikers would be required to wear wristbands.
This comes amid tightened restrictions on large gatherings in El Paso County in an attempt to mitigate a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
“We want to thank all Incline users for their patience and continued patronage of this incredible trail that is such an asset to our region,” said Karen Palus, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director, in a statement. “We’ve all experienced a lot of change this year, and we know it can be challenging to adjust to new protocols, so we again thank users and ask for continued patience as we all get accustomed to the new reservation system, which we believe will help effectively manage volume on the trail. Since climbing the Incline is no small feat, we hope you view the reservation wristband as a token of accomplishment that you wear with pride during and after your hike!”
Manitou Springs City Council approved the plan to reopen The Incline on Tuesday night.
Additional Information about the Manitou Incline:
Free parking is available at Hiawatha Gardens or users can pay to park at the Iron Springs Chateau. Those parking in the Hiawatha lot should plan for a 1.3-mile walk to the base of the Incline until Manitou Springs resumes its Ruxton Avenue shuttle service beginning on or around Aug. 24. Users are asked to plan ahead accordingly and arrive as close to their reserved time as possible. Upon checking in at the base of the Incline, hikers will be issued a wristband by an Incline attendant that must be worn at all times on the property.
Reservations are available between 6 a.m.-6 p.m. For the first two weeks, reservations are available for 35 people every 30 minutes. After that, the capacity will be increased to 45 people every 30 minutes. All users are asked to also follow current local recommendations for COVID-19, which will be readily available on the Incline website. Right now in Manitou Springs, that includes the use of a face covering, both indoors and outdoors, when a distance of 6-feet cannot be maintained.