Posted by: vikingsinspace | April 12, 2010

I. Climb to the Top of Red Mountain

Date Accomplished: Summer 2006

The Red Mountain Incline

Red Mountain is one of the smaller mountains in my hometown in Colorado.  It’s distinctive though, because it has few trees covering it compared to the other mountains surrounding the town, and its red jagged rocks are plainly visible (hence the name).  Red Mountain also boasts some historical significance for my town.  In 1890, a young woman named Emma Crawford died and wished to be buried on the top of Red Mountain.  After many years and enough rainfall, the site where she was buried eroded, and her coffin slid down the mountain.  My town now celebrates this event every year with the Emma Crawford Coffin Races held around Halloween, where participants deck out coffins on wheels and race one another down the main street.  Red Mountain also had an incline on it at one point, which acted as competition against the incline on Mount Manitou.  Now, I have been on the Manitou Incline when I was younger and it was still running, but the Red Mountain incline had shut down long before I was born.

View From Red Mountain

My cousins were in town for my sister’s wedding, and on one of the days there was little going on, we decided to take a hike.  To take them out somewhere were most tourists never go, I thought I would try to get us to the top of Red Mountain.  A hiking trail had recently been carved into the mountain just for this and I hadn’t been on it yet, so it was gong to be an adventure for all of us.  Getting to the base of the mountain was fairly simple by following another hiking trail, called the Intemann trail which I helped build a portion of while in Middle School.   The trail leading up to the top of Red Mountain is steep.  And at one point a little treacherous, as it looked like the trail got washed out somehow.  But, we managed to get by it all and get to the top.

Remnants of the Summit House

At the top, some of the remnants of the summit house for the incline can still be seen.  My cousins and I wandered around these concrete blocks and took in the views.  I almost prefer the view from the top of Red Mountain to that at the top of Pikes Peak (The BIG mountain my town’s at the foot of) because we were actually close enough to make out some of the details of my home town.  Pikes Peak is almost too high up for that kind of appreciation.  After wandering around for a good half hour, then sitting down and just taking it in for another, we headed back down to hike more of the trail.  Going down was probably a little more dangerous than going up!  But, it hardly matters, since I am here writing this, I obviously survived the ordeal.  I don’t know if anything has since been done to improve the trail, but if there hasn’t, and you’re willing to do some scrambling just short of rock climbing, getting up to the top of Red Mountain is worth the trek.

Manitou Springs

The picture of the Red Mountain Incline was taken from this great site, which includes many more historical pictures of the Manitou Incline.



  1. […] I. __ Climb to the top of Red Mountain […]

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