Tucked away in a secluded part of Colorado, this park is full of vibrant colors and an abundance of wildlife. Spend a day navigating the trails at Paint Mines Interpretive Park.Paint Mines Interpretive Park is less than an hour away from Colorado Springs -- just under two from Denver -- and it's definitely worth the journey. You're rewarded with gorgeous rock formations and a variety of wildlife, making it one of Colorado's best-kept secrets. Shades of purple, yellow, pink, red, and orange cover the walls of clay in a wide collection of towering hoodoos -- tall spires of rock that stick out from the bottom of badlands (also known as tent rocks, fair chimneys, or earth pyramids). Wildlife roam and live within its 750-acre landscape, including mule deer, coyotes, and horned toads, among others. The land is currently protected due to evidence of human inhabitants living there (dates back 9,000 years). Many archaeologists believe that the rock was used by the inhabitants to herd buffalo and create arrowheads out of selenite clay. Today, people tend to use the formations as backdrops to their Instagram posts. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMmp1XxB8oZ/?taken-at=308185879 https://www.instagram.com/p/BM7cEoIA1pZ/?taken-at=308185879
Four miles of easy and well-marked trails await you, though please keep in mind that the interpretive park is not wheelchair-friendly. Bikes, horses, and pets are not allowed in the park for many reasons -- the biggest being that the geological formations are super fragile. So as you're enjoying the scenery and natural beauty, it's asked of visitors to tread lightly and to not climb on any of the hoodoos. Guided hikes are also available. Park rangers will give guests an insider's look at the Paint Mines' unique history. Below are some tips and pointers to keep in mind as you're taking in the sights:
- Storms can catch guests off guard, and they happen very quickly, so check the weather forecast prior to your trip.
- Bring tons of water, especially if you're visiting during the warmer months of the year. There's little to no shade to protect you from the sun's rays.
- Wear the proper attire -- hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, etc.
- Wildlife tend to be shy, so have some patience and remain quiet if you're wanting to spot some of the local inhabitants.