The Incline/Barr Trail Loop


Trail Stats & Info

RT length 4.0 miles
Elevation gain 2,160 feet
Difficulty moderate-strenuous  
Lowest elevation 6,470 feet
Highest elevation 8,630 feet
Trail type loop
Trails Illustrated Map™ # 137
Restrooms @ TH? no


photo courtesy of Jainnie Jenkins

From I-25 in Colorado Springs, take US 24 west towards Manitou Springs. Stay on US 24 and take the exit Manitou Ave. Turn left at Ruxton Ave. Follow Ruxton Ave. until it reaches the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. You cannot park at the Pikes Peak Cog Railway parking lot. Find parking along Ruxton Ave. This road can get very congested and busy. Parking may be difficult to find on Ruxton Ave. and you may have to park far from the trailhead.

Another route to the trailhead is from US 24, pass Manitou Ave and follow US 24 until you reach the intersection of Cave of the Winds entrance on the right and Serpentine Dr. to the left. At the light, turn left onto Serpentine Dr. Follow Serpentine Dr. down until it ends at Manitou Ave. Veer left onto Manitou Ave. and follow the road to a roundabout. Take the first right onto Ruxton Ave. Follow Ruxton Ave. to the end at Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Find parking along Ruxton Ave.

Trailhead is about northeast of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway parking lot.

Warning: This trail crosses private property


photo courtesy of Danton McDiffett

This is a very popular hike in Colorado Springs. People, even from Denver or Boulder, drive down to the Springs to conquer this hike. The Incline is about 1 mile in length, but ascends steeply for more than 2,000 feet in elevation, which is why this trail is so difficult, but also so popular. You’ll see people form running up it to slowly hiking it. Either way it’s an accomplishment to get to the top! Most hike up the Incline and descend down the Barr trail as it is a lot easier on the knees. There is a bailout trail about half way up the Incline if it’s too strenuous for you. At the top of the Incline, you can head back down the way you came, or connect to the Barr trail, or continue on for another 200 feet of elevation and connect to the Barr trail further up. The Barr trail is the standard route to get up to Pikes Peak. So, if you really feel gung ho and started the hike early, you can continue up the Barr trail, passing Barr Camp, up to Pikes Peak. If you do decide to hike to Pikes Peak, but want to take the Cog Railway down, make sure you get tickets beforehead and give yourself plenty of time to get to the summit. Barr Camp is another option if you want to split the hike into 2 days. It is about 6 miles up the Barr trail and you can sleep overnight at this camp.

For parking, there’s no designated parking lot for the Incline. You have to either park along Ruxton Ave. or park on Manitou Ave. which will involve a longer hike to get to the trailhead. On an nice day or summer weekend, you can find that area crawling with tons of people and tourists. Better to get there early for less crowds and a parking spot. There are no public restrooms in that area and hikers are not allowed to use the restrooms at the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

For more information on the trail and history of the Incline, visit:

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About Jake & Mar

Jake and Maria have spent a good chunk of their time hiking and exploring all that the Colorado wilderness has to offer. Their ambition is to seek out all the hidden treasures of the Rocky Mountains from pristine alpine lakes, to tall dense Aspen forests, to high mountain summits. They both bring their own unique talents and abilities to, whether it's the organizational skills and consistent ambition to take on new terrain, or the desire to creatively record and document the experience. They are truly passionate about their site and the outdoors. "We thank you for visiting and wish you safe and fun adventures!"