What is unique about this route is the fact that it is a loop with some serious climbing. It provides spectacular hill climbing, which is the reason it is a favorite route of the incline club, whose sole existence seems to be to train for the Pikes Peak Marathon.
There is a long, steady, steep climb up Poppa Bear Hill in the middle. This is great for those who are looking for some hill work or demoralizing for those that are not prepared for the seemingly endless climb.
This route starts at the base of The Manitou Incline
from which the Ute Pass Trail
heads off to the right of the incline. You'll find an immense amount of solitude on this trail, particularly given its proximity to the over-crowded Incline and Barr Trail
The trail climbs and switches back up the slope to the north. After reaching the ridge the Ute Pass Trail
drops and climbs twice before reaching a facility owed by Manitou Water. The trail then heads to the left (taking the trail to the right will return you to the TH) and begins a slow climb along a dirt road generally paralleling the route HWY 24 takes.
At just over three miles, the Longs Ranch Road connects and you'll follow it to the left, where it begins a slow climb, at first, that grows into a steeper and never ending climb. This continues for about 3 miles.
When the ridge mercifully presents itself, the trail begins a slow descent to meet up with Barr Trail
. At this point you turn left and follow Barr Trail
back to the parking lot and then to the Incline TH.
This final stretch, the last three miles, will be very crowded with people on Barr Trail
and coming down from the Incline