Hike the Paint Mines Interpretive Space Loop

Paint Mine Interpretive Park

An easy hike that's great when there is some cloud cover (there are no trees), the Paint Mines are colorful and unique geological formations that have evidence of human occupation in the area for the last 9,000 years.

The site is an easy drive from Colorado Springs on US Route 24. There are three parking areas: the west and south parking areas are trailheads, and there is additional parking on the west side for a scenic overlook. The overlook does not attach to any trails.

Through several loops, there are up to 4 miles of trails replete with views of the formations and interpretive signs to help understand the area. When we were there, the weather was relatively overcast, which gave the formations a beautiful monochromatic look, which can be seen in the photos.

We hiked 2 of the trails and spent a total of about two hours exploring the area. There were no crowds, though this may have more to do with the weather during our visit than the popularity.

My only (minor) complaint is that the rules about not cavorting around on the formations were neither followed nor enforced, so there is damage to the site. That said, the formations are still beautiful.

Pack List

  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunscreen/protection
  • Picnic
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RT Distance 4 Miles
Elevation Gain 200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Really great gem

Took me a while to make it to the paint mines, but man is it worth it. Really cool hiking and lots to explore!

Hidden Treasure

What makes this place special is that once you are in the valley, you can hardly see any man made structures, which makes it feel like you are further out than you really are. The vibrant colors or the sandstone are a need-to-see sight.

This was such a cool place! It was super muddy when we went last week.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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