Paint Mines Interpretive

Paint Mines Interpretive Park, Colorado 80808

Elevation Gain518ft
Trailhead Elevation6,779ft
Elevation Min/Max6639/6779ft
Elevation Start/End6779/6779ft

Paint Mines Interpretive

Paint Mines Interpretive is a hiking trail in El Paso County, Colorado. It is within Paint Mines Interpretive Park. It is 2.7 miles long and begins at 6,779 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.6 miles with a total elevation gain of 518 feet. Paint Mines Interpretive Park W, Paint Mines Interpretive Park S, and another parking are near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. Along the trail there are bare rocks and a bench. This trail connects with the following: Paint Mines Interpretive.

Paint Mines Interpretive Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes with Kids Colorado (The Mountaineers Books)
Maureen Keilty
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"Every visitor to the Paint Mines delights at the sight of what appears to be rainbow sherbet–colored rock formations melting into the prairie. Their thrill continues as several paths lead them into the park’s shallow canyon of spires streaked white, gold, pink, and lavender. Few forget their first sight of this rare prairie jewel."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Colorado Springs - 3rd Edition (Falcon Guides)
Stewart M. Green and Tracy Salcedo
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"This loop hike in Paint Mines Interpretive Park traverses prairie grasslands to an eroded badlands of colored sandstone used by ancient Native Americans for paint and pottery. The Paint Mines Trail explores the high prairie and an unusual badlands south of Calhan in eastern El Paso County. The single- and doubletrack trail has easy grades, interpretive signs, and lots of history. It can be hot in summer, and there is no shade. Wear a hat and bring plenty of water. No dogs allowed."

Paint Mines Interpretive Trip Reports

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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.
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Paint Mines Interpretive Photos

Trail Information

Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Nearby City
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Skill Level
El Paso County Parks and Leisure Services, 2002 Creek Crossing, Colorado Springs, CO 80905; (719) 520-PLAY (7529);
Local Contacts
USGS Calhan; park map available at website
Local Maps

Trail Log