1 Tank Trips: The Paint Mines

CALHAN — All this week we’re exploring some unique spots in Colorado you can get to with just one tank of gas.

We kicked things off with a trip to the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in El Paso County. It’s located in the town of Calhan, about 80 miles southeast of Denver.

The Paint Mines consist of colorful rock formations, caves and paths. In fact, there’s a hiking trail you can explore that’ll take you 3.5 miles around the park itself.

“[It’s] hidden back here, you would never know,” said Judy Whetstine, who lives up the road in Peyton.

It takes less than half-a-tank of gas to reach the Paint Mines from Denver.

Admission to the park is completely free.


  • From Denver take I-25 S to S County Line Rd/Palmer Divide Rd in Douglas County (Exit 163).
  • Continue on S. County Line Rd/Palmer Divide Rd. Take CO-83 S, Hodgen Rd and Murphy Rd to US-24 E in Peyton.
  • Turn left onto US-24 E.
  • Drive to Paint Mine Rd.