Another change to the Manitou Incline reservation system | Way of life

A slight adjustment has been made to the ever-evolving reservation system for the Manitou Incline.

Hikers of the popular mountainside staircase can now reserve pitches for free up to eight weeks in advance. Previously, they couldn’t do it for more than seven days.

“This should dispel one of the most confusing aspects of the system,” reads an advisory from Trails and Open Space Coalition, which remains opposed to the year-old reservation system.

With the previously short booking window, the coalition said it “regularly received phone calls or messages from confused candidates who thought there were no openings available”.

The move follows other changes to the system jointly operated by the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.

First this summer, managers adjusted the number of hikers allowed in each half-hour slot – taking into account peak periods when the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway add traffic to the residential corridor shared from Ruxton. Later, managers established new rules for people who arrived at the base of the Incline without a reservation. They were allowed to replace unused slots with people who had reservations, said Kurt Schroeder, representing the Colorado Springs Parks Department which pays trailhead attendants.

The no-show rate regularly hovers around 40%. This has been a big concern for defenders.

“But it leaves room for people who aren’t as connected to the (reservation) process to show up and have a chance,” Schroeder previously told The Gazette.

He and Manitou Springs representatives say they are happy with the reservation system, which is intended to reduce crowds and manage traffic in town. Buried trail meter data suggests hiking is down more than 20% from the year before bookings.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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