If you check any best things to do or top attractions in Pittsburgh list, I’ll almost guarantee that the Duquesne Incline and the view from Mount Washington are on there, and for good reason. The historic incline carts make you feel like you’ve walked back in time, the upper station museum is free, and the viewing platform has some of the best views of the city. Come along!
On the south shore of the Monongahela River, a bright red footbridge crosses above W Carson Street to the lower station of the funicular. Walk inside to find the ticket booth, and let the teller know if you are planning a one way or round trip ride.
The Duquesne Incline originally opened in 1877. However, it was closed in 1962, apparently for good. It was showing the wear and tear from years of use, and ridership had steadily fallen. Local residents launched a massively successful fundraiser to help the Incline. The Incline was reopened in 1963, and has since been completely refurbished. It has become one of Pittsburgh’s most popular destinations and is now maintained by a non-profit organization dedicated to its preservation.
After you pay your fare, hop aboard one of the cherry red carts.
Make sure to glance back down toward the city as you rise to the top of Mount Washington. Your view will include the downtown skyline, Point State Park and fountain, the Three Sisters bridges, PNC Park and Heinz Field, and the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers into the Ohio River.
Spend some time in the upper station looking at the artifacts of Pittsburgh-past. The small museum has some photos of downtown through the years, history of the Duquesne Incline, and some sports memorabilia.
Then head out to the deck, and take in the skyline again.
I’ve been to the top of Mount Washington a few times since moving to Pittsburgh, as it is a must every time we have visitors. Although the views are always impressive, my favorite time to go is around sunset, when the sky is tie-dye and the light bounces off the downtown buildings.
When you’ve had enough time to take it all in, hop back on board one of the carts and head back down to the bottom.
If you aren’t inclined to take a ride in the carts, you can still visit the upper station, museum, and viewing platform (for free!) by driving to the top of Mount Washington and parking on the street nearby. Enjoy the view!