Peaceful Protest Planned at Colorado’s Craziest Hike
Colorado hiking enthusiasts are planning a peaceful protest at Colorado's Manitou Incline. On a side note, Manitou's mayor doesn't expect a strict response from the city's police.
The Incline was closed back in mid-March due to concerns regarding COVID-19. The Manitou Incline is a 2,744 step hike climbing close to 2,000 feet over a distance of less than a mile. The trail is fairly narrow, no more than six to ten feet wide at most points. Put simply, maintaining social distancing protocols would be difficult if not impossible. Under normal conditions, it's not uncommon for Manitou Incline to see well over a thousand hikers per day.
According to KRDO, a local group based around the Incline are planning to climb it as part of what seems like one of the most well organized, peaceful protests in human history. The unauthorized climb is scheduled for this Saturday, June 19, at 7 a.m. Interested parties chimed in on the Facebook page "Manitou Incline - Everything's Better on the Incline." It appears the ball started rolling with this post:
That post was a few days ago. Today, June 17, at 11:11 a.m., Mark Rickman followed up with this post on Facebook:
If you're not familiar with Manitou Incline, it's something of a fixture in Colorado. I travel to Manitou Springs at least once a year to hike it. I'm not sure why considering we have several comparable hikes right here in Grand Junction, Mt. Garfield being one of them. There's something special about the Incline, though.
So, since this unauthorized climb/protest is the worst-kept secret...ever... what is the city's response? According to KRDO, Manitou Springs Mayor John Graham says he doesn't expect a strict response from police. Graham states the group is not an antagonist organization, and have vowed to obey health and social distancing guidelines.
The Incline is closed for health concerns, so certainly that hasn't changed. I've seen the posts on social media, and they are advocating for things like social distancing, masks, and picking up litter, even. - Mayor John Graham courtesy of KRDO
Okay, so what consequences could people incur should they hike the Incline while still closed. It appears they could be faced with a warning or possibly even fines.
In the meantime, the city council is working on a way to reopen the incline while observing social distance guidelines.
I'm not really one for protesting, and certainly have no desire to have a run-in with the law, but... I might just have to attend this one. I really miss the Incline. My plan was to hike it on my 50th birthday. I hike the Incline every year on my birthday. Unfortunately, it falls in April, by which time the Incline was very much closed.
Here's hoping this goes smoothly. Unfortunately, it appears it might not. Mother Nature may have other plans. According to the National Weather Service, Manitou Springs will see rain on Thursday and Friday, and a chance of thunderstorms on Saturday.