Top Three Sunset Spots In Colorado Springs
In 2018, I made my way through the states, driving from Florida to Seattle, and man, is Colorado something else!!
My first stop in Colorado at Great Sand Dunes National Park was out of this world! Not technically in Colorado Springs, but a beautiful sunset location on the southeast corner of the state nonetheless.
This was my first time in Colorado, and I was already blown away by the natural beauty and diversity of landscapes. To be honest, I nearly skipped over Colorado Springs and went straight to Denver. Boy, am I glad I didn’t!
Colorado Springs turned out to be one of my favorite segments of the trip, and I was blessed to have witnessed many memorable sunsets during my visit. As any photographer knows, sunrise and sunset are prime times for landscape photography. I’ve compiled a list of my top three sunset hikes in Colorado Springs to help you be in the right place at the right time so you can get those truly epic photos.
1. Garden of the Gods
By far the most popular destination in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods is a breathtaker. Especially if you go around sunrise or sunset and witness that golden light reflecting off those striking red rocks!
Beautiful any time of day, the red rocks really take on a heavenly hue during golden hour. If you’re trying to avoid the crowds and have the place nearly all to yourself, I recommend going at the crack of dawn for sunrise (as pictured below).
Bonus: When you visit early in the morning before the crowds you might catch a glimpse of the local wildlife. I caught these two lovebirds smooching when they thought no one was watching!
What makes Garden of the Gods perfect for all ages?
The accessibility! You can drive through Garden of the Gods and get some seriously stunning views. As for those who decide to walk through it, the gravel trails off of the Main Parking Lot are well maintained and relatively flat, making it stroller & wheelchair accessible! You can walk a half mile loop and get some sensational views. Or, there are over 15 miles of trails in the park for more active hikers. You can even climb the rocks with proper gear and a permit!
The shot below was taken right next to one of the parking lots in the park, no long hike required!
2. Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Red Rock Canyon Open Space perfectly encapsulates the adventurous nature of Colorado Springs. Located right off Highway 24, it’s hard to miss. With miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, rock climbing, and an off-leash pet area, Red Rock Canyon has something for everyone.
Taking a quick walk around this pond, you’re sure to see why Red Rock Canyon Open Space makes the list of top sunset hikes in Colorado Springs. Below is a map of trails at Red Rock Canyon Open Space to help you plan your visit.
3. Paint Mines
Although not technically in Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a sight not to be missed when in the area. Located less than an hour outside the city, these vibrantly colored rocks really light up in the golden hour before sunset.
Start the 3.4mi interpretive trail loop that weaves in and out of the canyon about an hour before sunset, allowing for plenty of time to explore. The pastel pinks and oranges will have you feeling like you’re walking through mounds of sherbet. Picture that paired with the cotton candy skies of a beautiful sunset and you’ll feel like you’re in real life Candy Land!
Fun Fact: Native Americans used to harvest these brightly hued clays to make paint as far back as 9,000 years ago!
Bonus! Pikes Peak
Known as “America’s Mountain”, this 14er is one of the most visited mountains in the world. It’s accessibility makes it perfect for all age groups. You can actually drive to the top, however you need tickets to do so. Entry into Pikes Peak is $10/adult, $5/child, or $35/carload (up to 5 people). Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to check out Pikes Peak during my visit, but it’s definitely been added to the bucket list for next time!
Pro Tip: Be sure to try one of the world famous donuts at the Summit House on Pikes Peak!
So there you have it, the top three sunset hikes in Colorado Springs! Hope this helps you plan your trip! And, as always, safe travels!
– Sara Vozel
Plan your Colorado trip:
- Hiking the Great Sand Dunes National Park
- What To Do In Telluride in the Summer
- Maroon Bells: How To Avoid the Crowds at America’s Most Photographed Mountains
Know of any other must-see sunset spots in Colorado Springs? Comment below!
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