Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Paint Mines: A Bucket List Completion

We have been to the Painted Desert and thought the color in the badland formations there was incredibly beautiful.  When we moved to Colorado Springs, however, we were told of a similar park right in our own backyard:  The Paint Mines, located in Calhan, just a few miles east of the Springs.  This week, with my parents visiting, we went to check it out, and we were impressed.

The park has several sandy cliff formations, colored by the gypsum in the sediment.  Centuries ago, the Native Americans mined the colorful sand to decorate their pottery.  Much more recently, adobe houses in the area were colored from the "paint" from these formations. 

There are several miles of trails, but most of the formations are concentrated in the southwest portion of the park.  We took a nice, leisurely 3-mile hike through the park, and after being awed by the formations, were awed with the wide open spaces out on the plains and even a beautiful view of Pikes Peak, some 45 miles distant.

If you're in the area and looking for a new adventure, the Paint Mines provides a great half-day family outing exploring more beauty in the majesty of the great outdoors!

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