Location: Manitou Springs, Colorado
Distance from Denver: 78miles (~1.5 hr) ♡ ♡ ♡
Hike: 1 mile up + 6miles down ♡
Difficulty: Hard! ♡
Parking Situation: Medium sized lot + street parking ♡ ♡
Parking Fee: $10 (we paid it so we could avoid adding two miles RT to the hike)
Everyone says it's tough. But let me tell you, it is actually BRUTAL. One mile straight up (~2700 steps at an average grade of 45%, and a 2,000 foot elevation gain) is no laughing matter. Actually, I take that back. You can laugh at me climbing on all fours in certain pots where it was a 68% incline.
It also marked the first test of our relationship after getting engaged...I got whacked in the head with a camera and B didn't get to make it to the top as fast as he wanted. We were both grumpy. The trail down (please don't take the stairs back) was long than we expected and had way too many switchbacks. ALL WHILE WE WERE HUNGRY. So great.
However, amid all of this were a few positive moments: (1) I got to communicate with a chipmunk && it actually responded back -...although I had no idea what I was saying so if you speak Chipmunk, I want further lessons - and (2) I realized really how patient Brandon is - sorry I took too many breaks on the climb up and picture stops on the way down.
A few recommendations: Pay for the parking | Dress in layers + bring a hat | Pack snacks and tons of water | Take your time - you can do this!
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