Hike the Paint Mines Interpretive Space Loop

Colorado Paint Mine Interpretive Park

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.

Pack List

  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunscreen/protection
  • Picnic
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

17 days ago

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!

17 days ago

2 months ago

Really great gem

Took me a while to make it to the paint mines, but man is it worth it. Really cool hiking and lots to explore!

2 months ago

9 months ago

Hidden Treasure

What makes this place special is that once you are in the valley, you can hardly see any man made structures, which makes it feel like you are further out than you really are. The vibrant colors or the sandstone are a need-to-see sight.

9 months ago

11 months ago

This was such a cool place! It was super muddy when we went last week.

11 months ago

More Adventures Nearby

Photograph Dallas Divide

Colorado / Dallas Divide

Along with Maroon Lake and Crystal Mill, Dallas Divide is one of Colorado's iconic photography locations.

Katie Lyons
2 Saves

Summit Precipice Peak

Colorado / Precipice Peak Trailhead

Drive Owl Creek Pass as far as you can go. If you have 4WD, this will mean going past the Courthouse trailhead by about 2.5 miles of bumpiness & creek crossings.

Piper Wolters
1 Saves

Hike Crystal Lake Peak

Colorado / Ophir Pass (Crystal Lake Peak)

Drive to the top of Ophir Pass, where you will be greeted with plenty of parking and a metal sign covered in stickers. The trail starts here.

Piper Wolters
2 Saves