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Mission: Pike's Peak "Incline" (With Lots of Pictures!)


Secret Agent
Staff member
I've posted a few times about the Pike's Peak Incline lately and several people requested that I take pictures the next time I hiked it. Well I did it this morning and took several pictures.

First of all here are some background info about the incline if you don't know much about it. It's a 1.5 mile staircase made out of railroad wood and ties that goes a good deal up the side of one of the eastern parts of Pike's Peak. The top of the incline will put you a full 4 miles into the journey up the trail on Pike's Peak (if you were going for the entire thing). Otherwise it leaves you with either a long staircase back down or a 4 mile run down the mountain trail known as the Bar Trail.

It's hard to take pictures of the incline to represent the full length of it due to the several very steep parts that are out if sight in most angles.

For example, here's a shot from where the trail meets the incline. The incline technically starts about 100 feet lower than this but that part is almost completely covered in sand and I doubt many people ever hike it. What looks like the end at the top is actually known as the "False Summit" with good reason. You are only seeing about two thirds of the incline in this picture.

Here's a shot looking back down after a good ways up. It's safe to say that the spot in the previous picture is about as far down as you can see on the trail below.

This next picture was taken looking up from exactly the same spot the picture above was taken. As you can see it is quite steep and there is still a good ways to go until the false summit, which you can see at the top of the image.

The incline is not for those who don't like to get their hands a bit dirty. In some spots like the one pictured below it is steep enough that the stairs start to feel like a ladder.

Now here's a zoomed shot near the top of the incline. Still a lot to go as you can see from the size of the people and the angle of the trail.

And here's a shot from the the top with a good view of just how far up the incline will take you. As you can see the parking lot is FAR below by now, as is the rest of the city. There are also a lot of people who bring their dogs up with them. As you can see here a dog has almost made it up to the top.

I decided to climb out a bit onto some rocks. and get a good angle of the last part of the trail.

And of course the view from the top is amazing. Well see for yourself. Here's a shot looking back at the city and Garden of the Gods.

And a shot looking south towards the west.

And another shot looking west.

It's hard to capture the view with a camera but here's yet another shot looking west as we started back down the trail.

And here's a shot of another peak (not Pike's) in the mountain range that is viewable from the trail.

And last but not least, Pike's Peak from a little closer than most people will ever see it. And that's saying a lot considering that this is AFTER the full incline. This was a shot from the top of the incline and then some. You can see just how far away it still is. They say Pike's Peak will take a good hiker around 5-7 hours to hike one way. If you take the trail the entire way it's a 13 mile hike up and a 26 mile hike both ways. If you are in good shape and are a good hiker you would be looking at a minimum of 10 hours if you hiked the trail the entire time. If you start off with the incline you can cut about 3 miles off of the initial part but you won't save much time due to the increased level of difficulty compared to the trail.

And that's it. I didn't take pictures during the 4 mile downhill trail however because it started to rain and we were pretty much running the entire thing anyway. There's not much time to stop and smell the roses when there is thunder and lightning near you and for the most part there aren't many trees near you (for the first part of the downhill run). The trail isn't as interesting as the incline anyway though. It's a lot of steep trails with rocks and tree roots in the path. Yes it is possible to fall off in some places but the idea is to be smart and not run so fast that you can't turn in time. :)

So, anyone planning to come out to Colorado soon and tackle this bad boy?

I'll be hiking the full Pike's Peak soon and I'll definitely take plenty of pictures during that as well. That is going to be crazy though because I'm going to do the full 26 mile up and down hike. I've been trying to do the incline once a week to help get in good enough shape to do the full peak. That won't be for another month and a half or so though so I'll have enough time that it won't be a problem... hopefully not at least. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions about the incline or Pike's Peak feel free to ask. I will at least try to give you an informative answer. :)
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Registered Member
Nice. It looks like some beautiful country out there. It would be nice someday to actually try hiking it myself.


Registered Member
Thank you so much for posting the pictures. Now that is a climb. I would love to do this someday. You captured very well. The view is awesome. Thanks again.


Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
Great pictures, it looks like a hell of a climb up there.


Secret Agent
Staff member
It is pretty intense. Some people take it to another level and run it, which will put your time at around 20-25 minutes. The record is 15 minutes which is insane considering that the average time is probably 40-50 minutes walking.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
Awesome pics, dude. But did you have to put Extreme Forum all over them? That's a little obnoxious. But yeah, looks like a fun workout. Exercise is fun when you're rewarded with great views like that.

I'm most interested in climbing Pikes. Looks like there's still a ton of snow up there. You probably won't be able to climb it until mid-July. I'd definitely camp somewhere on the way up and do the trip in two days. 26 miles while ascending and descending 8,000 vertical feet is pretty hardcore for one day. You could always hike up and get a ride back down, though that might be cheating.


Secret Agent
Staff member
That is cheating sort of, but there are a lot of people who only go up so it's a pretty accepted form of cheating.

I don't want to do that though. It's going to be crazy intense but it will be worth it. The view from the top of Pikes is going to be awesome!

I won't be climbing it until mid-July so no worries there. I am hoping to do it once before my buddy comes out just so I can know what I am doing when he is here, not to mention I want to make sure I can do the whole thing.

There is a good chance I won't do it more than once this summer though because I heard it is a serious workout. I'll definitely post how it goes though when it comes down to it.


Well-Known Member
I would definitely do that. That can be one of my goals for the next year. Do the pikes peak incline. It does look pretty intense.
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