COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Manitou Incline is reopening at 6 a.m. Thursday, but there are new conditions for use.
All Incline users must make a free online reservation before hiking and show proof of their reservation to an onsite attendant, the city of Colorado Springs said in a news release. The reservation and check-in system will be managed and staffed by the Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department.
Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs have been collaborating on a plan to reopen the Incline to align with recommended public health modifications during the pandemic.
>> Video above: People want to climb the Incline so bad they're protesting its closure by voluntarily hiking it
The Incline has been closed since March 17 under an emergency resolution issued by Manitou Springs City Council in response to COVID-19. At the time, the city said social distancing requirements and proper mask usage could not be properly enforced due to the large number of visitors on the trail.
“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. “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!”
After making an online reservation at coloradosprings.gov/incline, users will receive a welcome email with directions for parking, rules and regulations.
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.
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