Trail Name: Painted Mines Trail
Location: Paint Mine Rd, Calhan, CO 80808
Trail Length: 1.8 miles
Elevation Gain: N/A
Trail Type: Easy/Novice
Description: "Relentless prairie winds, sandstone-capped spires and hoodoos, colorful hues of clay, and distant coyote calls beckon visitors to this quiet landscape. As hikers venture from the trailhead into the distant reaches, the Paint Mines offers a journey through time, past fascinating geological formations and remnants of human history, in a unique ecological setting within the rolling plains of eastern El Paso County. The Paint Mines Interpretive Park, located in Colorado’s eastern prairie, is a rare, geologically fragile, and ecologically rich landscape of labyrinthine gulches and monoliths, perennial wetlands, and native grass meadows. The park contains unique geological, archeological, historical, and ecological resources that are all interrelated, thereby retaining significant educational, scientific, and interpretive value." -El Paso County
With a distance of 1.8 miles this is a very easy hike, primarily on flat ground. It's a huge change of pace for the Sunday Adventures as we head out East to explore the geology and ecology of our neighboring grasslands.
Suggested items to bring are sunscreen (even in the Winter), sunglasses, hat, minimum of 32 oz. water, snacks, comfortable hiking/walking shoes or boots. Dress warmly in layers. The wind picks up in the prairie with little to no wind breaks.
1-2 hours out and back. Observing the flora, fauna, and unique geology of this delicate ecosystem.
Remember regardless of weather we will hike. There is no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing choices. Pending road conditions.
Due to the extremely delicate geology, NO DOGS on this hike please.
Directions to parking: Take Highway 24 to Calhan, go south on Yoder Road/Calhan Highway, turn east on Paint Mine Road, and follow the signs a few hundred yards to the parking lot on the East side of the road.