One way to sell a place to live and play? With a miniature version of the Manitou Incline.
A smaller set of vertical, wooden stairs in the likeness of the Pikes Peak region’s super popular lung-buster has appeared on a Cañon City hillside. That’s property of Ty Seufer, the longtime local who has spent years developing Royal Gorge Ranch and Resort, envisioned as a gated community of sleek, ecofriendly tiny homes surrounded by trails and several outdoor amenities.
The Epic Incline, as it’s been named, is “instrumental” to the vision, Seufer said.
“It’s a leg-burner,” he said. “It’s just awesome.”
Other amenities built or in the works across the scenic, pinyon-juniper countryside: a bike park with jumps and a pump track, a crag with dozens of bolted climbing routes and miles of trail connecting to adjacent, public networks. Seufer has called it “Adventure Valley.”
The idea is for Royal Gorge Ranch and Resort residents and vacationers to gather in the newly renovated Gunslingers Clubhouse, formerly housing performers of the old Buckskin Joe Frontier Town.
Seufer acquired the once-famous 805 acres in 2018. Plans and prices of yet-to-be-sold lots and homes have changed, in line with inflation and county and state regulations, he said.
“We went from having 300 1-acre lots with 500 acres of open space, and now we’re down to 130 homes that are on 5-acre lots and the rest is open space,” Seufer said.
The goal is the same, he said: unique, resort-style living “with views for miles.”
The view is showcased from atop the Epic Incline, which Seufer said spans 184 steps. That’s comparable to other “mini inclines” on the Front Range, including one at Castle Rock’s Philip S. Miller Park and the Rueter-Hess Incline near Parker.
Unlike those other minis, there is no driving to this one through the gated Royal Gorge Ranch and Resort. Access is via adjacent Royal Gorge Park trails.
“If you want to hike or bike Made in the Shade or One Track Mind (trails), you’re more than welcome to,” Seufer said.
Trail stewarding group Fremont Adventure Recreation lists those trails as combining for a little more than 6 miles. Made in the Shade starts off County Road 3A and meets One Track Mind, which continues toward the incline and Point Alta Vista, a cherished overlook on former railroad land that Seufer donated to the city.
Trail information and maps on Fremont Adventure Recreation’s website: joinfar.org