Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Paint Mines by Lindsey Fisher 2 sunshine

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is one of El Paso County’s most unique open spaces. The Paint Mines are named for their colorful clays that were collected by American Indians to make paint. Brightly colored bands, caused by oxidized iron compounds, are found in varying amounts throughout the many different layers of clay.

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is 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 park features fantastic geological formations including spires and hoodoos that form through erosive action that creates incised gullies and exposed layers of selenite clay and jasper. The park includes a restroom facility, four miles of trails, interpretive signage, and many natural wonders.

  • Location:
    29950 Paint Mines Road
    Calhan, CO 80808
    The Paint Mines restroom is located in the main entrance parking area and is open year-round.
  • Paint Mines Informational Brochure and Map (PDF)
  • The Park is free to enter.
  • Park Hours:
    Dawn to Dusk
  • Driving Directions:
    Take Hwy 24 east from Colorado Springs to Calhan, turn south on Yoder Road/Calhan Highway, turn east on Paint Mines Road and look for the designated parking area.
  • Paint Mines Interpretive Park Management Plan
  • Parks Department:
    (719) 520-7529
  • Park Weather: NOAA
  • Pets, Horses, and bicycles of any kind are PROHIBITED.
  • Drones are PROHIBITED.
  • Stay on designated trails at all times.
  • Climbing and/or scrambling on Paint Mine formations is prohibited.
  • Entering the Paint Mine formations is prohibited.
  • All plants, wildlife, rocks, minerals, and historic artifacts within park boundaries are protected by law. Do not remove, destroy, or disturb any of these features.
  • Avoid gulches and gullies during wet weather.

Be prepared! Know before you go!

Water- There is no water available at the park. Make sure to bring enough water for your entire trip, including the car ride to and from the Park and your hikes into the park.

Shade- Shade is very rare in the park. Make sure to bring adequate sun protection.

Seating/benches- There are very limited places to sit down and rest once entering the park.

Uneven Terrain- All the trails in and around the park are made of dirt and gravel and may be unimproved. All of the area within the park is uneven terrain.

Dogs, pets, and horses- Dogs, pets, and horses are not allowed in the park. Owners will be asked to return their animals to their vehicles.

Drones- Drones are strictly prohibited.

County Dirt Road-The road to the park is a maintained county dirt road.

Calhan, Colorado- Calhan is the closest town to the park. Here you can find food, gas, and services.

  • Hiking trails
  • Interpretive Displays
  • Picnic Tables
  • Restroom
  • No Water on site
  • No pets, no horses, no bikes.

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a beautiful location for all types of photography. Photographers are welcome to use the park for non-commercial portrait and landscape photography.

Please follow all park rules including:

  • Stay on designated trails at all times.
  • Climbing and/or scrambling on Paint Mine formations is prohibited.
  • Entering the Paint Mine formations is prohibited.
  • The Paint Mines is closed at night, but a permit is available for those that want to take photographs at night.
  • Drone use on El Paso County Park Property is prohibited.

These rules are in place to preserve the natural beauty of the park and for the safety of visitors.

Commercial photographers need a permit. (No film, movie or video shoots). Please visit the Paint Mines – Commercial Photography information link for additional information.

Contact the Parks Office for more information at (719) 520-7529 or

Guided Hikes

Hikes run from June 10th to October 28th. See 2023 dates below.

Paint Mines guided hikes will occur on select Saturdays and will cover topics such as the geology, ecology, and human history of the site. Our amazing interpreters will show you around the park and the fascinating rock formations while they share with you their vast knowledge of the area . They will even bring out some of the amazing artifacts and fossils that have been found and we have protected for everyone to see.

HoodoosSpace is limited and REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
Our interpreters will collect a fee of $3 per person at the beginning of the hike. You can pay by cash or by scanning a QR code for the Paint Mines Trust PayPal.
All fees will go directly towards Paint Mines Interpretive Park Trust and the park’s improvements and protection.

2023 Hike Dates:
June 10th
June 24th
July 8th
July 29th
August 5th
August 19th
September 2nd
September 16th
October 14th
October 28st

Please make sure to wear durable closed-toe shoes and bring a filled water bottle. These hikes will be approximately two hours in length and you will be walking up to two miles on uneven and unpaved surfaces for the entire length of the hike.
Hikes will meet and start at the information kiosk at the main parking lot. 29950 Paint Mine Rd.

If you wish to cancel your registration, please do so at least five days before the hike so that we can allow others to register instead. To cancel, please email
For more information please call (719) 520-6977 or email

-Coming Fall 2023-

Make a donation specifically to Paint Mines Interpretive Park through the “Trust for County Parks.”

Secure donations can be made using PayPal by clicking the icon below.

Thank you NextEra Energy Recourses

Partner in the Park for Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Explore Our Parks: Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Paint Mines Interpretive Park