Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Hoodoo or Tent Rock

Hoodoo or Tent Rock

We decided to explore a different part of Colorado over the weekend. Instead of heading into the mountains to go hiking, we headed east to a unique location near the town of Calhan. Generally speaking, eastern Colorado is pretty much just open prairie land with farms and ranches. However, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a geological site that is very interesting and worth the visit.

Colorful Formations

Colorful Formations

Unique Geology Up Close

Unique Geology Up Close

An Array of Colors

An Array of Colors

Truly Spectacular

Truly Spectacular

Definitely Worth the Hike

Definitely Worth the Hike

The formations in the park were created by geological forces over millions of years.  Oxidized iron deposits created fascinating clay formations with dramatic colors.  Over 9,000 years ago, the first inhabitants of Northern America, the Paleoindians, were thought to have made pottery out of the colorful clay.  The hoodoos (also called tent rocks or chimney rocks) that raise out of the ground are truly spectacular.  The 4 miles of trails that loop through the park allow you to get close to these unique formations and see how spectacular the geology of the earth can be.

Trail Through the Formations

Trail Through the Formations

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

Amazing Colors

Amazing Colors

Rock Formations

Rock Formations

So Much to See

So Much to See

We’ll definitely go back to the park during the spring or summer.  The trails were actually streams at certain points due to all of the melting snow.  Where there wasn’t running water or snow, the clay ground was a muddy mess and we ended up with our shoes layered in a colorful mess.  Even though we couldn’t get to all areas of the park due to the condition of the trails, we had a wonderful time hiking through the formations.  It is amazing to find such a wonderful geological and archeological site located in a place where you would never expect it.  If you take a little time to explore your own part of the world, you can find some truly beautiful hidden gems.

Enjoying Our Hike

Enjoying Our Hike

Perhaps a Little Treacherous

Perhaps a Little Treacherous

That is the Trail Not a Stream :)

That is the Trail Not a Stream 🙂

Climbing to the Top

Climbing to the Top

In the Middle of Nowhere

In the Middle of Nowhere

 

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8 Responses to Paint Mines Interpretive Park

  1. Looks like a place I’ll have to visit if I’m ever back in Colorado. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! I never heard of Paint Mines. Thanks for sharing photos and information. Hope to visit in drier weather. Colorado has so many treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bea dM says:

    You seem to have lots of places to visit right in your back yard! When I think of a road trip to the US some time in the future, it’s utterly frustrating to try to plan on what to do, as both time and $ aren’t infinite 🙂 As you say, many people should “take time to explore their own part of the world”. I’ve been visiting Italy extensively, and there’s still so so much to see, but I’m shocked so very many Italians have been to many foreign countries and hardly know the rest of thier own country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re continuously surprised to find someplace new to discover that isn’t too far from us. Although going to other countries is something we treasure, it is very expensive and time consuming. People really should take the time to explore their own backyards, they will be richer for the experience.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. samstravlog says:

    Hi there. Thank you for a great post. We now live in CO, but had never heard of this place yet. We definitely have to plan a visit soon. Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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