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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: 

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!

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.

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

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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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