Love at First Summit?

It’s easy to call yourself an “avid hiker” on dating sites, but how outdoorsy is your date really? Put that Tinder meet-up to the test this spring with a patience-trying hike that will challenge both body and spirit.

The Manitou Springs Incline

The Incline is a gravity-defying staircase made from the bones of an old cog railway track. With 2,000 feet of elevation gain, it’s one tough mile—which makes it perfect for testing the patience and determination required of a good partner. Don’t give up when you reach Bailout Point, and try not to be too discouraged by the false summit. From the top, connect with Barr Trail for a 3.7-mile loop.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Seeing miles of sand dunes from the top of the 700-foot-high Star Dune peak is worth every stumble and fall. But sliding backward after every step forward, while being blasted with sand and icy wind, can be quite trying. Not to mention there’s a long drive home to civilization, too.

The Crags

On the back side of Pikes Peak lies a winter playground with both steep, steady climbs and long, flat stretches through stunning rock formations. Snowshoe up to the view from trail #664 over a moderate 4.3 miles, or take a right at the intersection with trail #753 to climb all the way to the top of Pikes Peak (12.1 miles).

—Kassondra Cloos

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