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Local runner searching for solutions to garbage/dog poop problem on Manitou Incline

From PikesPeakSports.us member Michael Everson

Today's trash update:  Six more plastic bottles and a huge pile of dog crap 30 yards from the first tie directly in the middle of the trail. 

My wife made a suggestion, and I'm curious to know who might agree.  She said I should put a container of plastic bags at the first tie.  I can attach a sign to it that tells people that they need to pack out their trash and dog crap. 

I have been climbing the Incline for 14 years now.  I have never seen it this bad.  Way too many inconsiderate people who think it's not their job to clean up after themselves.  Comments?

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Michael thanks for the report. I'll never know why or how people can leave their garbage behind on a mountain trail, at park or the Manitou Incline.

I don't get how they can allow their dogs to crap in the middle of the trail - and then fail to bag it or even kick it off to the side. These folks certainly think differently than I do. How do you even communicate with somebody like that?

Michael, there is a new group forming called Incline Friends. The group will raise funds for Incline improvements, organize volunteer efforts and work to educate the public about the new Incline Management Plan - which will finally make it legal to climb. We'll keep you updated. The Incline Friends may be able to help solve the garbage problem.

Also, under the new management plan, no dogs will be allowed on the Incline. The stakeholders - private property owners and the City of Colorado Springs - who developed the plan made the 'no dogs' decision based on safety and sanitation concerns.

Litterbugs and pet owners who don't pick up after their pets are at the top of my Pet Peeve list. As good an idea as the hanging bags and sign sounds, I doubt it will change their inconsiderate ways, but it's certainly worth a try. Good luck!
I totally agree.  A sign and bags at the first tie would be awesome.  That way if we see violators, we can point it out to them and they can't play dumb.  I'm a dog owner and I'm appalled at the ignorance of other dog owners.  Every now and then I'll make the rounds with a huge trash bad and rubber gloves, and it's amazing how much "stuff" there is laying around.

I like this idea. I also like the idea of the interpretive signage later on explaining WHY dog waste left on the ground is a problem, beyond just the sight and smell. If we ever want to see wildlife anywhere near the incline, the waste has to go (which it will for the most part once the Incline becomes legal. No dogs.)


I would like to get Leave No Trace involved in this. I'll call Boulder and see what we can come up with. In the meantime, this is a good project to add to the list of the Incline Friends future wants and needs list... 


We could also do pack it in pack it out signage... what kind of an athlete can't manage to carry out their own empty water bottle. Lazy. 



Also, maybe some of you out there want to become LNT ambassadors? We could arrange a training to deal with conflicts and educational approaches, and get some literature and schwag to hand out when you're out there. Not sure how the city would feel about it at this point in the process, but done correctly education is THE BEST WAY to mitigate impacts.

I posted this on the main Incline page but I'm moving here to go with the other replies.


@Micheal Leaving some bags for others to use is a great idea although I'm sure the worst offenders won't use them. There used to be bags stashed on a sign near the Barr Trail parking lot but haven't seen any in a long time.  I try to remember a bag for my dog but occasionally forget it.


A little over a month ago I took a scooper with me and cleaned dog poop along the trail from the Barr lot.  I think I only made it about half way up to where it joins the Incline and I think I had over 20 lbs.


I really don't like the dog rule but unfortunately the poop has become an issue.  I also used to not leash my dog and it was never a problem.  In the last year though I've run into several aggressive dogs so I started leashing mine except sometimes near the top.

I have also been so disgusted by all the people not cleaning up after their dogs.  It has become a huge problem everywhere... Waldo, Eagle, Stanley, Santa Fe, G/Gods, etc...  But it is especially bad on the Incline.  I personally approve of the "no dogs" rule because of this problem.  I know there are many dog owners who follow the Leave No Trace ethic, but it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone... and in this case, its more than just a few!

Even without the dogs, there is still a big problem with litter up there.  I've picked up bottles, tissues, food wrappers, etc, more often than I can count.  There's always something left behind by someone, every time I'm there.  Like others have said, I just don't get it. 

But then, I also don't get the "need" for hikers & runners to shred that badly eroded hillside "shortcut" from the top of the Incline down to Barr Trail when there's a perfectly good (and scenic) route already in place just above the Incline that doesn't add that much more time/distance/difficulty and preserves the fragile mountain terrain.  I'm hoping there will be a plan to clean that up as well!! 

Spoke with Michael Everson today (Fri. 6-24). He said some folks are using the bags he has left at the Incline trailhead. He also said some people fill the bags with dog poop or garbage and then leave the bag at the trailhead, rather than throwing it away. Other Incline regulars continue to bring down plastic bottles and other trash almost daily. Good to see the community taking action. More on this subject to come.
I think the bags are a good idea and believe they have helped a lot so far.  I have seen some bags tied to the entrances of Barr Camp, Entenmann's (sp), Stratton Open Space, and various other trail heads in Cheyenne Canyon.  Thanks to all those contributing bags and who have been on poo poo and trash patrol.  A lot of the trails are looking better!  Fortunately, many folks appear to be using them, but unfortunately not all are picking up their doggie deliveries bagged or not.  The good part... some positive impact is being seen and that hopefully good diligence will catch on, which is better than zero impact.
Great to see various organizations and people stepping forward to help keep the Incline clean.

Couldnt agree more.. nearly every popular trail along the front range it littered with trash and bags filled with dog crap. in many instances i have seen these bags hanging from trees for everyone to see. its just disgusting. I am tempted to make my own signs that explain the importance of Leave no trace ethics. our wilderness can only be so enjoyable when you have to dodge dog crap every step. I totally support fixing this.


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