Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Calhan, Colorado

Obscura Day 2015: Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Join us as we explore the fantastically colorful hoodoos and spires of a natural geological wonder, hidden in the El Paso County plains.

Bizarre shapes made of sand and clay rise from the plains in an awe-inspiring variety of shades in this pre-historically significant site.

For over 100 years, Coloradoans have enjoyed Paint Mines scenery as well as its geological, archaeological, historical, and ecological resources. Archaeological studies indicate that humans have inhabited the Paint Mines for nearly 9,000 years, gathering the colorful clays tinged with red, orange, yellow, purple, and gray hues to produce ceramics. The plants, animals and pigmented clays encouraged prehistoric people to return to the area, year after year, for centuries. For this reason the Paint Mines are considered incredibly significant in the prehistory of the area, and this park is listed as an Archaeological District in the National Register of Historic Places. 

Join us this Obscura Day as we explore "hoodoos", learning about the history, geology and ecology of the Paint Mines as we discover how these elements have combined to create a beautiful, hidden gem in eastern El Paso County.

DETAILS:
Saturday, May 30; 8:00am - 10:00am
Cost: $5
29950 Paint Mines Road, Calhan, CO, 80808
We will be meeting at the first parking lot on the east side of the road. 
Dress in layers, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, water and/or snack(s). There is no water at the park, no shade until we reach the formations and it can get very windy.
The trail is made of crushed rock and sand with a slight elevation change, and will be a little more than 1.5 miles round trip. Attendees are more than welcome to stay and walk additional trails following our excursion!