Photography
Laramee Love

North Cheyenne Cañon and the Incline | Colorado Springs Adventure Part II

After my journey with the kids up May’s Peak (see prior post) and after another babysitter quit, I decided to send the kids to their grandparents house for an extended vacation. Upon my return back to Colorado, I filled my schedule with ALL things non-kid friendly. One of those things included a hike up Mt Muscoco inside North Cheyenne Cañon Park.

The trail started down in the lower part of the canyon and was therefore kind of cold. I was initially afraid that I had underdressed. Jackson, on the other hand, was lively and ready to roll. We wound our way around the mountain before starting with a very steep incline for the last 0.5-1 mile. That part was packed with snow and had such a steep grade that I was very grateful for my crampon spikes.

The views at the top were spectacular! Definitely worth the trip up to the top, but also not something I would have wanted to do with the kids. I am grateful I chose to trek this hike without the kids. I would have been struggling had I been carrying Orion on my back and convincing Savannah to walk the trail in its entirely would have taken an act of God. Luckily, however, it was just me and Jackson, which also means that Jackson was my only model for photos. He played his role well!

This hike has made its way to the top of my favorite hikes thus far in Colorado. It was a perfect day and as previously mentioned, the views of the surrounding mountains were breathtaking. I would definitely recommended this trail for those looking for a shorter challenge!

The following week, on a Wednesday, I did the Incline with a friend from work. It was her first time summiting and she did great! As you probably know, the Incline is no easy feat. It is a stairway of over 2700 steps that go for approximately a mile straight up the side of a mountain. The elevation gain from bottom to top approaches nearly 2000 feet. The signs at the bottom warn people of danger and that emergency services are not readily available. It is H-A-R-D.

We came prepared! Since it was a winter climb, we both had a set of spikes that we ended up needing about a third of the way up. Some of the stairs had been so packed down with ice and snow, they almost didn’t resemble stairs anymore. It was more like a ramp heading up to the top. It was also very cold, as expected, and I kept gloves on for a large portion of the trail.

Although this trip up the Incline was my 4th time, it wasn’t any easier than the previous 3 times. It still made me question my judgement for wanting to go up in the first place. However, we kept pushing on and made it to the top! As always, the rewarding feeling at the top after having accomplished something so challenging is unsurpassable. I was so happy to celebrate Sandra’s accomplishment of finishing the Incline in its entirety for the first time. I think she was pretty proud too, and rightfully so!

We headed the approximately 3 miles down the Barr Trail down to the bottom. Once we arrived in town, we celebrated with lunch and margaritas at The Loop in Manitou Springs. It was delicious and felt like a great reward! I was so grateful for these kid-free adventures!

March 28, 2021

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Photography
Baileyana Rose