On a recent visit with a friend, we ventured out to Calhan, Colorado to hike Painted Mines Park. This interpretive park is in the opposite direction of most things in Colorado Springs, you will need to leave town and go east to Calhan. I’m really great at getting lost and with the help of my Maps app, found this park with no problems.
A few things to keep in mind about this park, while the hike was considerably easy compared to other options, no dogs, horses, or bikes are allowed. Yes, we did see people with dogs there, I didn’t bring my dog because I’m a rule follower for the most part. I understand why these 3 things aren’t allowed. The fragile formations easily degrade, and show wear just from people being around them, I can’t imagine the damage if dogs ran off leash up these formations or if people on horses walked over them.
Keep in mind that you aren’t supposed to climb on the formations, which people do. I’m sure I am guilty of ‘climbing’ on them as well. They say to stay on the designated trails, but honestly it’s hard to tell when the trail ends and climbing begins. My suggestion is to be mindful, if you have to use your hands to get up or down something, I would consider it ‘climbing’.
Getting to Calhan is easy from Colorado Springs and there are a few parking lots, so if the first one you come across is full go on down to the next one. If you’re really into geology you’ll love walking around Painted Mines, perfect for portraits with some unearthly designs.
Overall, this park is beautiful, easy to walk and an almost unearthly place to visit! A stark contrast to Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and other options on the Front Range.