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Paint Mines Park

 4.3 (12)
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Length


4.3 Miles 6.8 Kilometers


383' 117 m

Ascent

-382' -116 m

Descent

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

6,762' 2,061 m

High

6,569' 2,002 m

Low

Shared By Mike Langenkamp

Conditions


Unknown

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This 750 acre park features geological formations including spires, chasms, and gullies.

Mike Langenkamp

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Paint Mines Park is located in the high plains near Calhan, Colorado. The 750 acre park features geological formations including spires, chasms, overhangs, and carved walls that were formed through erosion that created gullies and exposed layers of clay and jasper. Oxidization of iron deposits created the colorful clays, which range from light yellow to deep red.

Need to Know

There are portable toilets at the trailhead.

Description

From either trailhead the best approach is to head for the west side of the park as this is where 90% of the rock formations are located that make this park distinct.

Taking the loop from Paint Mines Rd trailhead, the trail initially heads east and curves to the south. Once heading south you'll have views into the valley and a bench to soak it all in. The trail then descends into valley with white carved walls and spires immediately to the west.

Shortly after the white spires you'll approach a trail junction. Take the trail to the right (south), which leads deeper into the gully area. There are many beautiful dead-end spurs that take you closer to the formations. This is a great place to take your time and explore all of these side trails. The canyons here range in color from deep reds, to yellows, to white.

The main trail continues east and gradually climbs out of the gully. There are more formations to the north before leveling out on grasslands. From here the trail continues east to a junction with a second trailhead. Take the left trail northwest over vast rolling grasslands to continue the loop. The trail widens here and provides views of Pikes Peak far off to the west along with a bench on top of a slight rise.

There are a couple of smaller formations to the south as you continue to the southwest. Eventually you'll come back to the original trail junction. Head straight (west) to get back to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Throughout this park you'll encounter Colorado grasslands, prairie, badlands, and wetlands. Coyote, mule deer, song birds, falcons, and hawks are frequently sighted.

History & Background

Archeological evidence shows this site was used for thousands of years.The rich color of the clays was used for ceremonial decorations as well as pottery making. Buffalo were herded into the dead end gullies to make them easier to hunt.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jan 5, 2019
Mark Robinson
2mi — 2h 00m
Dec 29, 2018
Jesus Chris
Jul 30, 2018
Timmy Eugene
Jun 17, 2018
Leon Cobb
With niki
Jun 3, 2018
R M Palmer
4.3mi
May 28, 2018
Vanessa Bayer
May 6, 2018
Peggy Smith Emerson
4mi
May 6, 2018
Rebecca Sendel
Fabulous piece of Utah in Colorado! 4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 12 votes

#1655

Overall
  4.3 from 12 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
58%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#252

in Colorado

#1,655

Overall
95 Views Last Month
1,941 Since Feb 27, 2015
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