This past weekend my family and I went on another spontaneous little trip to check off a must-see here in Colorado. The Paint Mines in Colorado are truly a hidden gem in this beautiful state we are lucky to call home. This family-friendly destination in El Paso County is just two hours from Denver and a beautiful well-worth-it drive.
The Paint Mines are named for their colorful clays that were collected by American Indians to make paint to decorate their pottery. Brightly colored bands, caused by oxidized iron compounds, are found in varying amounts throughout the many different layers of clay. You will see breath-taking purple, yellow, and orange clay that look like God just took a paintbrush to this open space.
If you are looking for a hot meal on your way, head to Bino’s Pizza in Kiowa for the best meat lovers calzone you will ever have.
We went on a Saturday evening, arriving around 6:30 PM. There were only a handful of people there and with the temperature dropping, this hike was much more enjoyable. You walk for a bit on an easy trail over these grassy lands and then out of nowhere these huge rock formations appear.
We did bring our bike trailer which converts to a stroller, and that was a huge lifesaver walking back to the car. Liam was so exhausted that he nearly fell asleep in the trailer. Make sure you keep to the trails with the stroller though, as this is a protected site.
Location: 29950 Paint Mines Road Calhan, CO 80808
Hours: Dawn to 11 PM
Good to know:
Bicycles and pets are NOT allowed
This trail is jogger stroller friendly !
What to bring:
- A blanket
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A flashlight or headlamp if you plan on going in the evening
We saw about a dozen rabbits and these beautiful little pink flowers randomly growing right from the stone!
Liam got his face painted like Spiderman at a Bike Derby we went to earlier that day!
We found a bench and watched the sun set, snuggled together with our blanket. It was the perfect way to end our Saturday.
These were perfect for the tires of our ! Nate had a on too that was super handy.
If you are looking for a day trip in Colorado or a unique place to visit on your vacation, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the Paint Mines. The rock formations here called “hoodoos” are so rare that they are actually one of the three locations in the whole country!
I hope this guide gave you some insight on the Paint Mines in Colorado. I know I will never forget this place and hope to visit again in the winter.