Paint Mines Interpretive Park - Visit Colorado Springs

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a unique blending of geological, archaeological, historical and ecological resources.


Paint Mines Interpretive Park

THE PARK

Location: 29950 Paint Mine Rd., Calhan, CO 80808   [ Open in Maps > ]
Phone: 719.520.6375

The park consists of 4 miles of trails that rise over 500 feet in elevation. It covers 750 acres, containing grassland and geological formations of hoodoos, colored clay and sandstone-capped spires. The site is protected by law because of the fragile environment, as well as the geological and archaeological significance of the artifacts, rocks, animals and plants.

Each year the park is visited by birdwatchers, hikers, geological enthusiasts and anyone looking for an other-worldly escape.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

PAINT MINES TRAIL

Paint Mines Trail is a 3.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Calhan, Colorado that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels. The park has a diverse ecological system, with a combination of prairie, badlands and wetlands that attracts coyote, mule deer, songbirds, horned toads, falcons, rabbits, and hawks.


HOW FAR IS PAINT MINES FROM COLORADO SPRINGS? 

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is located about 30 miles east of Colorado Springs by the town of Calhan. The park's landscape is a combination of prairie and badlands with colorful hoodoos being the main draw.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park
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ARE DOGS ALLOWED AT THE PAINT MINES?

There is a bathroom and interpretive signs, but no picnic area or developed spaces. It's only open to hiking, but dogs, bikes and horses aren't allowed, as the rock formations and flora are delicate and easy to disrupt. Coyotes, foxes, snakes and hawks also can pose a threat to smaller furry friends. Because of this, Paint Mines is the perfect place for a contemplative walk with human companions.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

ARCHEOLOGICAL DISTRICT

Archaeological evidence, such as arrowheads and stone dart tips, has found that there was prehistoric and historic occupation by Native American peoples. The earliest occupation was about 9,000 years ago. Artifacts found to represent the Apishapa culture, Cody complex and Duncan complex. The clay was used in prehistoric and historic times to create and paint pottery and as paint for ceremonial purposes. The selenite clay was used for arrowheads. The "channels" were used to herd buffalo into a gulch where they could be easily hunted with bows and arrows. In the 1800s Euro-American people settled in the park property.

The Calhan Paint Mines Archaeological District was designated by the National Park Service. The land is protected by the El Paso County Parks Department, with funding by the State Historical Fund for master planning and an archaeological survey.

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