Trailblazer | 1113 pts
The colors at the Paint Mines are absolutely magical, with beautifully colored rock formations and hoodoos. This is a fairly easy hike and the views are fantastic and otherworldly. It can be pretty windy here so you would be wise to be prepared with layers of clothing. However, if you come to the Paint Mines in hotter months, the sun can also wear you down, so apply plenty of sun screen, bring water, and wear a hat or a cap because there are absolutely no shady areas to offer any relief. You do not really need special hiking boots for this hike -- we actually wore sandals and sneakers since the trails are made of sand. The trail intersections were marked and there was a little incline but walking the path is not very difficult. It is nice that you can get close to the formations (although we are asked to not climb) and there are a few beautiful overlooks. The map isn't necessarily drawn to scale, but the paths are well marked. It is a good idea to park at the parking lot that is farther away from the main entrance as the hike ends at the formations (with an overlook of them in all their glory) which you probably wouldn't get to fully appreciate if you start at the main parking lot. Sunrise and sunset provide wonderful photo opportunities and the variety of colors is mesmerizing. Having said that, pictures seriously don't do the Paint Mines justice. This is such a short drive from Colorado Springs so there's really no excuse for not making the trip to see this amazing place.