Colorado’s ‘Craziest Climb’ Reservation System Will Be Permanent
The fun little jaunt known as "Colorado's Craziest Hike" will stick with the reservation system implemented almost a year ago during COVID-19.
Opinions about this vary. However, officials say the reservation system brings benefits to the table besides "social distancing" safety measures.
What is Colorado's Craziest Hike?
Have you ever climbed Manitou Incline outside of Colorado Springs? Let me tell you, it's a hoot. The first time I climbed it I was uncertain if I was going to live to tell anyone about it. The second and third times weren't nearly as bad, but they were definitely not a walk on the beach. Check out this action-packed footage of me reaching the summit during my first attempt at conquering Manitou Incline.
How It Used To Be
Back in the old days, before the "dark times" known as COVID-19 (using a Star Wars reference) one could visit Manitou Incline pretty much any time they wanted. You didn't need a reservation, permit, or even a ticket. It was free to climb.
Reservation System Implemented
When things began shutting down during COVID, a reservation system was implemented at Manitou Incline. Put simply, you would reserve a time, thus spacing out the number of people on the trail at any moment while spacing out the arrival time of visitors.
According to KKTV, officials credit the reservation system for the drastic drop in the number of calls for service from the Manitou Springs Fire Department and El Paso County Search and Rescue.
The calls for service that the Manitou Springs Fire Department and El Paso County Search and Rescue have had to respond to have dropped like a rock. - Operations Manager Kurt Schroeder via KKTV
Schroeder attributes that trend to the safety reminders sent to hikers using the online reservation system. According to Schroeder, “Every time you make a reservation, you are hit with multiple reinforcements that this is not your typical walk in the park."
Schroeder adds they have received some positive feedback when it comes to keeping reservations in place. The social media page The Manitou Incline - Everything's Better on the Incline seems to disagree. Heads up, nasty language follows.
What If You Don't Have a Reservation?
Walk-ups are allowed to take the spots of no-shows. Parks office data suggest roughly 20%-30% of reservation holders don't show up. One comment on the Everything's Better on the Incline Facebook page suggests the reservation system isn't really enforced anyway.