The Paint Mines Interpretive Park

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park
4.5
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Hours: Dawn To Dark. NO PETS Admission is Free! Located in the northeast section of the County near Calhan with approximately 750 acres. The paint mines have evidence of human life as far back as 9,000 years ago. The colorful clays were used by Native Americans. The park features fantastic geological formations including spires and hoodoos that were formed through erosive action that created incised gullies and exposed layers of seienite clay and jasper. The park includes a restroom facility, four miles of trails, interpretive signage, and many natural wonders.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Sydney
    Saint Louis, Missouri211 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Vibrant Canyons
    Probably my FAVORITE hiking spot within driving distance from Denver. My friends and I loved it here - such beautiful and vibrant colors!! This park is pretty small, so you don't need to dedicate an entire day here, but it's fun to walk around and take pictures in all the canyon crevices.
    Visited July 2022
    Written March 9, 2023
  • James
    Kennesaw, Georgia6 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Windy Wonderland
    Loved the walk with lots of sun and no trees for shade. Trails are not well marked, but enjoyed the rambling exploration. Sort of like a mini - walkable - scale model of the Grand Canyon. Can easily spend one hour (or four)
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Stacy H
    Tampa, Florida62 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique experience
    I had never heard of the Paint Mine before but saw pictures when planning my trip to Colorado Springs. It’s a little off the beaten path, about an hour east of Colorado Springs. I went on a Saturday expecting it to be crowded but there were only about 10 cars the the parking lot (I guess the word hasn’t gotten out yet). It is free to enter. The path is paved and there are a couple of hills but it wasn’t too strenuous. I was surprised how unique and beautiful the rocks were. There were several different colors running through them. This is a place I would recommend before it gets too popular.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 25, 2023
  • RinSunPhom
    Fort Worth, Texas193 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the drive
    I'm so glad we decided to visit the Paint Mines. It's about 40 miles from Colorado Springs but worth the drive! Go early and bring water since there's no shade. I also wonder how muddy it might be if it rained.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 27, 2023
  • Beachy101_12
    Springfield, Missouri30 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice quick stop
    Pleasant quick stop off the beaten path. I’m glad we found this place on our travel back home. There was several different walking paths with plenty of wild flowers in bloom. God is amazing with his creations!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 4, 2023
  • NF2013_13
    Orlando, Florida864 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very impressive!
    Our friends who live in NM had been to the Paint Mines and told us about it. Wow, we were so glad we went. What an amazing day we had! Be sure you do not just go and view the paint mines from the Overlook area. To truly see the colors these paint mines hold, you need to walk through them. We spent time walking among them and scoured the entire area. Saw some cute rabbits living among these paint mines too. Loved, loved it here. I'm sure we'll be back.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 20, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles254 reviews
Excellent
165
Very good
77
Average
7
Poor
4
Terrible
1

Andrea
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Amazing geological area. Intense colors, amazing shapes, I have never, ever seen anything remotely like this. Intensely hot and almost no shade - be wise, bring literally a gallon of water, wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen. Paths are well maintained and easy to find. This is a MUST DO in the Castle Rock area.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wanderer777603
Lubbock, TX21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
This is an interesting place that I never would have found without reading others reviews. Parking can get crowded, and it's a really good idea to have a hat or umbrella and something to drink. Once you walk back to the Paint Mines you want to see all of it. It is an unusual place and all ages enjoy it but many have trouble staying off the fragile sand formations and JUST looking.
Written August 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelBrianCO
Pearland, TX864 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
Though way out in the middle of nowhere, an enjoyable visit. Visually stunning and interesting. A few different parking areas. Suggest going early before the large groups of people - who don’t follow COVID distancing nor the rules of staying off the rocks and no dogs. The trails aren’t difficult but you can easily spend a few hours exploring.
Written November 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

meezer3
Chicago, Illinois1,285 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Couples
This is a off the road Park we would never had known about if a local hadn't told us about it. We had all flown into Colorado Springs from Chicago, for a big family occasion, ... My Granddaughter and her new husband had some of their wedding images taken here. If the weather had been less windy I would have gotten more images, but being it was March I wasn't complaining. I got to stay behind in a warm car.
The Park reminded me so much of the Badlands, just a smaller version. The colors and erosion very similar. There drive took about 20 minutes or so. About 60 miles from Colorado Springs.
There are several areas to Park at along the road and no fees, either to park or for admission.
Paths criss cross the Park to different locations.
I would suggest rugged hiking shoes and jeans.. not high heels and a wedding gown. Lol. But that made the rugged rural feel and images much more special.
Written July 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Omni F
Whitsett, NC227 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
Take the time to drive out to this location. Previous reviews mentioned the dirt road but don't be concerned. The dirt is so firmly packed, with only a couple of minor washboard areas, but possibly smoother than many of the paved roads in the state (sorry Colorado). Most of the trails are paved so it's very easy to walk around and see the wonders of Mother Nature. While this site isn't very large, it was definitely worth the trip.
Written January 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Valentina M
New London34 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
To tell the truth I was not impressed with this place. If you just want to look at the painted rocks just go right from parking lot and you will see rocks. We went long way all around, spend 2 hours just to see ricks at the end of our loop. The rocks are beautiful, the hike is boring. Don’t waste your time on it. Just go straight to the rocks, take pictures and go explore other beautiful places.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ksufan88
Wichita, KS5,453 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
There are three parking lots here. The first one you get to is the Northern lot that most people park at. We drove further South to a smaller (but almost empty) lot. The trails to scenic vistas and down among the hoodoos was shorter at 0.5 miles. We hiked this shorter trail in about an hour. We were glad we brought water and hats with us as it was a hot afternoon. Between these two parking lots is a third lot with a scenic overlook. If you only have 15 minutes, you can park in the overlook lot and quickly get to see the beautifully colored hillsides that vary between white, yellow, pink, and lavender. Unfortunately, we saw at least 10 people that had left the trails and were climbing across the delicate formations.
Written August 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark A
Larkspur, CO16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Excellent areas to visit, close to Denver and Colorado Springs in eastern El Paso county. The area is reasonably sized to allow for exploration in a few hours. There are several miles of walking trails among the formations and there is a bit of elevation change, so while strenuous, if you are not used to walking up and down hills on dirt, you will find yourself out of breath at times. There no trees and/or shade (except in the shadows of the rocks), so bring your favorite sun protection product. The formations are in a sort of small valley, so breezes could be limited making it warmer than the surrounding ridges. Parking lots are small and if the lot closest to Calhon is full, just drive a bit further for additional lots. The beauty of this place is that it is largely undeveloped. There are a few picnic tables (in the sun), rest rooms, and some benches to sit on along the trails, but it is largely natural and fascinating. DON'T walk on, climb, or deface the the hooloos and rocks. They are fragile and crumble easily and can be a touch dangerous as they are slippery. While we were there, some folks who ignored the warning signs allowed children to climb the rocks and several times, we heard the cries of little ones as they slipped and fell off.
Written September 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dh301
Denver, CO134 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
We went to the Paint Mines on a beautiful 70 degree day in March. Perfect temperature to explore although a little windy, so we still needed a light jacket. Be prepared with good hiking shoes or boots as there are some areas that can be muddy. There is a restroom in the north parking area and also be aware there is not much shade anywhere along the trails. To do the full trail loop plus time to explore was about 2 hours total.
Written March 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RYC88
Centreville, VA1,277 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
It's a county park, so we weren't expecting all that much, but it was fabulous. The wonderful colors of the rocks in this unassuming area in the the middle of a plain - wow! The neatest thing about it was that the primary color was white, so it was this bleached white with amazing pink, yellow, orange, and purple. Just gorgeous! Neat formations, too, with all these cool rocks and hoodoos. Super interesting and different that all the blues and greens in the mountains. Really helpful and interesting volunteers, too, who could answer any questions and were so passionate about the area. A must see, for sure!
Written July 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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