The Incline: Phase I & II Construction


  • Thanks to inclinefriends and manitoubrewing for a wonderful happy hourhellip
  • Regrann from timberlinelandscaping  Timber retaining wall install on TheInclinehellip
  • Timber retaining wall install on TheIncline Timberlineontheincline
  • Our crew had to stay on the ManitouIncline a tadhellip
  • Climbing The Manitou Incline everyday and still smiling! theincline timberlineontheincline
  • These guys are the definition of teamwork theincline timberlineontheincline
  • Rip rap walls going in on theincline timberlineontheincline
  • Imagine taking a 400 pound piece is equipment up thehellip
  • Carrying a 400 pound drill that couldnt be flown in!hellip
  • Working on a water chase to help direct water offhellip
  • New retaining wall on TheIncline This is one of fourhellip
  • timberlineontheincline theincline
  • timberlineontheincline theincline
  • Blue posts mark the high pressure water line The utmosthellip
  • Cutting in new drainage A prime example of why thehellip

Reconstructing the Manitou Incline

Timberline Landscaping began work reconstructing the Manitou Incline on August 22nd, 2016 and completed the work in time for the trail to reopen on December 2nd,  2016. This was the second phase of construction done by Timberline Landscaping on the Incline and focused primarily on the bottom portion of the trail.

The focus of this reconstruction was on erosion control and mitigation, as well as making some general repairs to trail damage. This included doing repairs to the timber steps, installing timber retaining walls and rock walls, erosion netting, and doing grading and soil work. We wanted to prevent future erosion so that the Incline can be hiked for years to come!

This wasn’t Timberline’s first time to work on the Manitou Incline. Phase 1 of the Manitou Incline Trail Renovation was also done by Timberline, and we received a National Association of Landscape Professionals award for the project.

We are looking forward to continuing work on the Incline, and were excited to hear that the grant money was awarded for Phase III of the project.

Timberline’s Progress on the Manitou Incline – By the Numbers



The Manitou Incline is a popular trail in Manitou Springs, Colorado. This difficult trail is not for the faint of heart. Although it is a short trail, its average grade is 41%, with a steepest of 68%. The Manitou Incline’s distance is just a mile, but it climbs very quickly, gaining 2,000 feet of elevation. The Incline was even voted America’s Toughest Trail! It provides a beautiful Manitou Springs view and a fun climb for experienced hikers.
The Manitou Incline has a rich history. It began in 1907 as a pathway for cable cars to carry pipeline materials for Pike’s Peak. Once the pipelines were finished, the Incline was visited often by tourists, hikers and exercisers, and was only recently established as an official hiking trail.

• Manitou Incline Distance: 1 mile
• Manitou Incline Elevation: 8,600 feet
• Overall Gain: 2,000 feet
• Trail Difficulty: Very Difficult
• Average Hike Time: 30 – 60 minutes
• Cost: Free
• Hours of use: sunrise to sunset. No night hiking permitted.
• Pets: not allowed

Work on the Incline will be drawing to a close in just a few short weeks and everything is expected to be wrapped up in time for a December 2nd reopening.  The number of steps may be changing, but only very slightly, and will be shared once work is 100 % completed. New pads are going in to more accurately track the number of people climbing the trail each day.manitou incline construction

The last of our helicopter delivery days was completed last week. Topsoil, netting, and seeding is complete which will help with erosion mitigation. In total 200 tons of topsoil and 100 tons of riprap was flown in. When possible riprap was collected from the wooded areas near the trail and brought over via a pulley system to the trail (video below).

Our most exciting days are those that we were visited by a bear and her cubs. They kept a safe distance but certainly serve as a reminder that we should all be aware when out hiking!

Thank you for your patience and support while the trail has been closed. See you on December 2nd!

manitou incline construction




Things are progressing very well for our team up on The Incline!

Construction of timber walls has been completed, bringing our focus toward rip-rap boulder walls which are being constructed using 45 + tons of rock. Some of the rock being utilized was collected off the  mountain itself and transported via pulley systems out of the woods and to the trail.

Many storm water chases are now in place. These will serve to direct water away from the trail when it rains to save the trail from further erosion. When the trail re-opens you will notice that many drainage swales have been constructed 5-10 feet away from the trail to provide further protection from run-off.

Next week we will have three helicopter delivery days to fly in topsoil and additional riprap boulders.

With our first couple of weeks of construction on The Incline complete, we wanted to provide an update of what has happened thus far.

Much of our effort in the first weeks was placed upon organizing materials and preparing for our first helicopter day. Each helicopter drop location was numbered and marked on the trail and loads carefully planned by weight with a total of 54 loads and 100,000 pounds of materials flown in to date. These drops included timbers, concrete, augers, metal brackets, and a port-o-potty, among other things.  Some items have been carried by hand up the trail including wheelbarrows, shovels, and one 500 pound drill that we were unable to fly in. The crew hikes The Incline each day to the jobsite.

Helicopter dropping supplies on Manitou Incline

To date our crews have completed 4 water chases, started 9 retaining walls, and installed or repaired 100+ timber steps.

Manitou Incline steps

Here is a closer look at what it is like on The Incline when the helicopter is delivering supplies!

We get it – your favorite trail, the Manitou Incline, is closed for re-construction, and you’re itching for another good hike. No worries, there are plenty of hiking trails in Manitou Springs for you to visit!

Here are some directions to Manitou Springs and local attractions you can explore while you wait for the Incline to reopen:

Map of Manitou Springs Hiking

Want to see more Colorado Springs trails? Check out our Colorado Springs trails guide and map.

Colorado Springs Trails Guide

Timberline Landscaping is proud to have done construction on the following trails. We put together this guide to help you plan your next hiking or biking journey! Refer to the Colorado Springs Trails Guide infographic below for trail details, difficulty and pet regulations, and refer to the map below for directions to your trail of choice. Keep in mind that each trail has different hours of operation, so please refer to the “Learn More” links provided in the infographic for that information.

For more information about our trail building across Colorado Springs, see our Trails page!

Colorado Springs Trails Guide:

Colorado Springs Trails Map:

National Association of Landscape Professionals Merit Award Winner - Eco restoration

To say that The Manitou Incline Renovation was a large undertaking would be both obvious…and an understatement. Before placing our name in the hat for the project we asked ourselves, “are we crazy?” Since we dove in headfirst and have now completed Phase I and II of construction, the answer to that may very well be yes.

Having recently been honored with the Grand Award for Erosion Control and Ecological Restoration by the National Association of Landscape Professionals for our work on The Incline, we thought we would share just a bit of what went into the massive project. Full Description…