Don't Take The Duquesne Incline Before Reading This!

Taking the 136 year old Duquesne incline to Mount Washington is one of the top 10 things to do in Pittsburgh. Here are 8 things that you need to know before doing it.

1. Free Parking:

There IS free parking right in front the duquesne incline station. Many people don't know this, and you will find that at least 50% of them park in station square or pay for parking somewhere else. The easiest way to find this parking lot is by NOT looking for it. Instead, Just go to the Duquesne incline station, and the parking lot is right across the road. The exact address is 1197 West Carson street, although most GPS don't work well in Pittsburgh.

Above: Duquesne Incline Station Does Not Accept Credit Cards & Takes Exact Change

2. Exact Change:

Take the exact change which is 2 dollars and 50 cents one way. So, at least take 5 dollars in cash. They don't take any credit or debit cards. They do have a change machine at the station that spits out lot of coins, but if don't want to end up with 15 dollars in coins, take the exact change.

3. Timing is Everything:

Pick a good time to avoid crowds. The incline's operating hours are

Monday through Saturday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.

Sundays and Holidays: 7:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.

The incline and the observation deck at the top can get very crowded. The observation deck is small and you can't enjoy the view if it is crowded. The busiest time is weekend evenings. If you can, go on a weekday afternoon to enjoy the great view of Pittsburgh Skyline.

Above: The small observation deck on Mt. Washington can get crowded on weekend evenings.

4. Your Ride Can Be Free:

If you are a senior, take your medicare card with you, and the ride is free. It is also free for kids under 5 years old, if you are a student of University  of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon or Chatham University. Remember to take your college id, and get the ride for free.

5. Don't Miss The Museum:

If you want to see internal workings of the incline and learn about the history of the incline, you can do that once you reach the top. It costs 50 cents exact change, so take 2 quarters with you. It is kind of a small museum, but if you are into mechanical engineering or history, you will love it. To learn more about the Duquesne Incline Museum, click here.

Above: The Duquesne Incline Museum shows the actual working machinery that runs the cable cars.

6. Drive Up:

You CAN drive up the mountain. The incline is not the only way to go up top. If you are afraid of heights or if the incline station is too crowded, just drive up. Some people also view the Duquesne Incline as a very expensive ride ($2.50 for 80 seconds), so think about it.

Above: Restaurants up in Mount Washington are usually very expensive

7. Expensive Food:

Eat your meal or pack your meal before you go up Mount Washington. Restaurants are pretty expensive in Mount Washington, and don't end up hungry after reaching there.

8. Take Your Clicker:

Don't forget to take your camera. You are going to get an amazing view of Pittsburgh, which is rated as one of the best views in the U.S. so DO NOT forget your camera.

Hope that helps with your impending trip to Mount Washington. Enjoy the beautiful view of Pittsburgh and have fun!

For amazing facts and history of the Duquesne Incline, click here!

To get a great view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington, click here!


"There IS free parking right in front the duquesne incline station" really? I didn't find that. Is it because the article is too old or I am not careful enough? Thanks!

There is no free parking! Best view of Pittsburgh!!

It was free several years ago, it seemed to be paid parking last time I was there, summer of 2016.

Now that lot charges 5 dollars for first 2 hours.

For the observation deck, if you drive up do you have to pay to go out on the deck?


 - I wish we had read these reviews prior to going. lemme walk ya through it: (btw for context my wife and I are in our late 50's (1) The parking lot was a mess - it looks like a minefield with huge puddles when it rains.  And $10 to park - really?  (2) the wait was LONG. Disney and DMV lines ain't got nothing on these tram lines.   We had no idea why they were so long when the tram cars hold 15 or so people, the ride is at best 2 minutes long and everyone is required to get out whether at the top or bottom (more on that later).  (3) The cashier sits in his closet and counts your cash (he doesn't touch it) to make sure they get every last dime.  We speculated why but that's for another day. Then he scribbles on a piece of scrap paper the number of fares and one-way or round trip. Best I can say is he's Danny DeVito's character Louie from Taxi without Louie's pleasant demeanor.  (4)As the room fills up there's a 2nd line downstairs.  Once THAT room fills up, "Louie"  sits there complaining to his co-worker about how difficult his job is.  (5) the 45-55 year old woman working the lines is bitter, rude and unpleasant.  Like all the  previous comments I just read, she has ZERO customer service skills.  ZERO!  She's like Frau Blucher from Young Frankenstein, only her evil twin.  I pity her children if she was ever a mother - they would've begged for foster care. (6)Frau Blucher and Louie accused my wife and I of cutting in line  and there was no discretion - just a totally impolite and embarrassing accusation. They were going to pull us out of the waiting room except we had a dozen witnesses and our scribbled receipt. It was then I realized that that's why the don't count or touch the money - they have no attention span and can't do simple math.  (7) Finally an hour into our nightmare, we're on the tram and the topic of conversation was Louie and the Frau. The consensus was "it can only get better, we're out of the nightmare."(8)  My wife and I dreaded asking for a refund so we figured ride up, ride back.  No such thing.  We get to the top and stay in the car.  We tell the topside operator (we'll call him "The Tram Nazi") about our wait and we have to head back down or we'll miss our flight.  His reply - "get out and get in line" (and at that point we had no idea the length of the line to go back down).  I get in the back of a 20-25 person line (just out the side door) while my wife goes outside to take pictures in the hopefully short wait (wasn't holding my breath).  The line moves ONCE in 10 minutes and shortens up by about 10-15 feet.  My wife comes back and tells me there's another line on the other side of the control booth.  That line only had 4 people in it and 2 of them rode up with us (basically a "get out while you can" mentality pervaded among the guests).  My point?  The Tram Nazi stood in his booth and made no effort to balance out the line length and we didn't see any signs saying there were 2 lines. (9) A small blessing in disguise:  the Tram Nazi points at me impolitely and by the look on his face like I did something wrong and he motions me back over to the side with the long line.  I assumed he thought I was cheating or something by switching lines so when he opens the control room door, I ask him, "What did I do wrong now?"  The blessing?  He allowed my wife and I to go down on the next tram.  I told him "Thanks" and we hustled like hell into the tram. (10) Waiting at the bottom was the Frau.  As mentioned in another review, she took our scribble scraps, no "thanks for coming" or "have a nice day."


Funicular Preservation Society - I find it hard to believe that you allow your paying GUESTS to be subject to that kind of surly rudeness



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