Colorado is notorious for its fluctuating weather patterns…. snow possible in areas 10 months out of the year, but 300+ days of sunshine! This week is a fine example of this… snow and wind today, but we’ll be back up to 60 & sunny by Wednesday/Thursday. That being said, for a girl who loves outdoor adventure, I try to hike year round.
One of the most unique hiking adventures we’ve enjoyed is “Paint Mines Interpretive Park” in Calhan, Colorado. My pictures will be worth much more than words in this case. It’s hard to explain the natural beauty of how the water and other weather has cut through the land, revealing seienite clay and jasper in an awe-inspiring display. I’ve heard about this place for years, but finally ventured over in the summer of 2016, so these photos are from the summer months. There are some paved walk ways, and dirt trails in & around the natural carvings. Calhan is east of Colorado Springs about 20 minutes. It definitely feels like you are driving into the middle of nowhere, and even if you park at the first marked parking lot and trail head, you can’t quite imagine what you’re about to see. Don’t worry, it is a quick hike in.
Be forewarned about weather!! We were here on a cloudy day, but I have heard the formations and rock can really hold onto the summer heat, so be cautious if you go on a particularly warm day. As with any day in Colorado, pack extra water! We enjoyed the clouds, but those summer storms can roll in surprisingly quick, so we ended up making a very quick jaunt back to vehicles before getting poured on. The Paint Mines are incredible to see and it makes you wish you paid more attention in geology to understand the origin of the beautiful colors.
Here is the El Paso County description and directions to the park… http://adm.elpasoco.com/CommunityServices/ParkOperations/Pages/PaintMinesInterpretivePark.aspx