Castle Rock Incline
If you live in Colorado, you have probably heard about the Manitou Incline in Colorado Springs. But did you know there is a miniature version of the inline, Challenge Staircase, in Castle Rock? It may not be as long, but it is just as challenging, especially if you do laps of it. But, it is a lot closer to Denver, you don’t have to pay for parking and it is a lot less crowded! So the next time you are looking for a challenge, head to Castle Rock and give the Incline a try!
Distance: .6 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 180 feet
Max Elevation: 6628 feet
Time: 10 minutes per loop
Parking: Philip S. Miller Trailhead Parking Lot
The staircase is pretty obvious once you enter the parking lot. From personal experience, don’t just jump out of your car and start running up the stairs!! Take a stroll or a jog around the parking lot a time or two. It is about half a mile around. Get your muscles and especially your lungs warmed up before you start heading up.
There are 200 stairs to get to the top, in about 180 vertical feet. They will start out fairly easy, but by 40 or 50 you will really start to feel it! But don’t worry, in just a couple of minutes you will be at the top and the views are pretty amazing!
After you catch your breath and you are ready to continue, head to the left on the path to start your way back down. It is a fun, twisty dirt trail that heads back to the base of the staircase. Let the legs enjoy the break, especially if you are going to head back up!
It is about a .6 mile loop from the bottom of the staircase back down. It should take about 10 minutes running, give or take a minute or two based on speed. It can also be done as a hike and is great for family since it is not as long or difficult as the Manitou Incline. It’s a great way to challenge those legs and build strength for the running season as well! So head down to Castle Rock on your next day or evening off and give it a try!