After coming across jaw-dropping images of the Paint Mines, I had to see the place for myself. I couldn’t have found a better day than on my 31st birthday, so I took the Friday off to take my daughter exploring. The drive from Denver was the same distance it would’ve taken us to get to Colorado Springs, just about an hour and half. My 13 year old said it was her favorite trip out of all the places we had gone, which really says a lot, keep in mind this kid has seen magical disc golf parks a top Mount Crested Butte and the glorious fall colors of the box canyon- in Telluride. The drive is easy, the traffic is minimal in Calhan, Colorado and I gotta tell ya, this park does not feel like typical tourist landmarks. There are no fences, no guard rails, no entry fee. Just straight in your face, up-close and personal, free to roam exploration! Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t show up breaking off pieces of clay to bring home and make your own pottery! And don’t go climbing and lifting rocks, show some respect for future generations to enjoy of course. Common sense stuff, but this place provides so much opportunity being open from Dusk til Dawn.
Google map Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, CO and upon arrival you will get 750 acres of brilliant red, yellow colored clays and sandstone spires. These geological formations were formed through wind and rain erosion to expose layers of history. 4 miles of trails forking off into different sections of each unique part of the park, make the day easygoing. Native Americans have left behind artifacts to provide evidence that they used this area as a source for paint and pottery, evidence of human life as far back as 9000 years. The geology that is provided here, is one in four areas in the state of Colorado.
The parking is easy there are two lots provided and clearly marked Paint Mines Parking and although you wont see it immediately, but a stretch of flat grasslands and a dirt trail, just follow it. As you approach, you will find yourself looking down into badlands. And if you’re like me, wearing black yoga pants on the trip, your ass will leave there with white chalky dust- just wanted to give warning.
Be ready for a photo op!
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Song for the Post, because this song kept playing on our ride there! Let You Down – NF
Thanks for reading guys!