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“Hidden Treasure”

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Calhan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Hours: Dawn To Dusk 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.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Oh my gosh!!! We never knew there was anything like this here in Colorado. We came down with a friend to do some geocaching in the area and were extremely impressed at what we found here! Not only did we enjoy our hike around the area, but we were able to see all of the different colors, a horny toad and lots of wildflowers!!! We truly enjoyed our visit and will be back to find some virtual geocaches within the park that we missed. Geocachers and all folks should definitely come and enjoy the scenic beauty that is found here. We have recommended it to several of our friends already. Can't wait to return!!!

1  Thank Debra V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 - 105 of 116 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

We've lived in Colorado Springs for almost 30 years and only today discovered the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Warning - until you actually descend into these amazing little 'canyons,' you will ask aloud, "why in the world are we hiking here in the middle of Eastern Colorado? Amazing geological features and 'other-worldly' landscapes. It's free and we intend to visit many times in the future!

Thank SMT56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We arrived at 5pm to make a 4 mile hike. A huge thunderstorm was about 25 miles away and we could see it moving across the prairie casting colored shadows on the grasslands. You felt like you were all alone in the world in that park. What a treasure. The indians lived in the area for 4,000 years and used the park for the colorful clay for their pots - brilliant yellows, pinks, reds, tans, etc. It was a kaleidiscope of colors. The trails are paved for the 1st half mile but then changeover to clay with a sand coating. Since it was not an area to be caught in a flash flood, we cut our hike short and left. I loved it so much that I have arranged a large family hike there again this summer. I want to share this wonderful jewel. If you need a lunch to pack in, there is a Subway store in Calhan. Calhan also has an antique wooden toy museum and an antique store for browsing.

3  Thank WhippetsRule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

The location of this park, in the middle of the prairie in eastern Colorado, is totally unexpected. The fact that you can hike right up to the hoodoos is unprecedented. They're fragile sandstone, however, so please don't give in to temptation and let yourself or your kids scramble all over them. Just enjoy them. They're stunning. The trails go all over, and it is possible to hike miles easily in this place.

1  Thank SkierGRL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Neat little hidden gem on the Eastern Plains! We walked around last Sunday for the first time and spent a decent 2 hours poking around the colored hoodoos and rock formations and checking out the trails. Very family-friendly... I think we were the only ones there without kids. The park is free, and there is a toilet facility at the west parking lot but it's locked Nov-Apr. In addition to the parking lot on the west side, the south side also has a space for vehicles and it's less used. For you motorbikers, both are dirt.

Very pretty and rather isolated; great place to get away from town for a few hours! This is not for rock-climbers or anyone looking for high-adrenalin stuff, but it's a super cool park if you're looking at the small details. It can get windy and there is no shade.

Signs are posted asking people to stay off the formations to keep them preserved and unmolested for future generations, and that dogs are NOT allowed. But do people ever read signs? Little kids and their parents were scrambling all over them on Sunday - which was disappointing but not surprising.

And yes, we did see a dog, thankfully on a leash, but still. Look, it's not about whether or not the dog is running wild or is well-behaved, but that its waste, liquid or solid, is detrimental to the organisms out there due to the waste's composition that impacts the water and soil differently than the native animals. One dog may not seem like much harm, but if you set a precedent and people begin bringing more pets, that's not good. Especially if the other pets aren't as well-managed and begin chasing the wildlife or tromp all over delicate species and [--] or [--] everywhere. I like dogs and had them growing up, but please be courteous and obey the signs.

3  Thank aerofaze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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