Calhan, Colorado

Hike the Paint Mines Interpretive Space Loop

4 Miles Total - 200 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Nathan Willers

An easy hike that's great when there is some cloud cover (there are no trees), the Paint Mines are colorful and unique geological formations that have evidence of human occupation in the area for the last 9,000 years.

The site is an easy drive from Colorado Springs on US Route 24. There are three parking areas: the west and south parking areas are trailheads, and there is additional parking on the west side for a scenic overlook. The overlook does not attach to any trails.

Through several loops, there are up to 4 miles of trails replete with views of the formations and interpretive signs to help understand the area. When we were there, the weather was relatively overcast, which gave the formations a beautiful monochromatic look, which can be seen in the photos.

We hiked 2 of the trails and spent a total of about two hours exploring the area. There were no crowds, though this may have more to do with the weather during our visit than the popularity.

My only (minor) complaint is that the rules about not cavorting around on the formations were neither followed nor enforced, so there is damage to the site. That said, the formations are still beautiful.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing Creation!

Explored the paint mines this weekend and I was so amazed at the colors and the formations within the park. You can spend hours exploring and photographing! I was sad to see that there was some graffiti on some of the formations!! I am not sure why people do this and it was sad to see. Other than that it was a great experience and a lovely hidden Colorado gem

Neat-o

We had a lot of fun with our kids here exploring, taking photos and watching the bazillions of small-large rabbits running around everywhere. We were headed from to KC to crested butte and it's definitely worth checking out. A great place to explore and stretch your legs after being in a car all night!

Overlooked hike and park near Springs

Awesome hike if you're looking to get out of the mountains for the day. Sweet caves and rock formations to explore and photograph. Definitely worth the drive from Springs or surrounding area!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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