Visiting the Paint Mines of Colorado

 

IMG_0674

Many people haven’t heard of Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, Colorado. But don’t mistake its secrecy for unimportance. These clay hoodoos and spires, which were once the source of Native American pottery, will take your breath away.

IMG_0711

Calhan is two hours southeast from Denver. This little town is littered sparsely with farms and livestock, and the road to the Paint Mines are dirt!

IMG_0607

IMG_0628

There are two hiking trails in the park, the North Loop & the South Loop. Collectively the loops are 3.6 miles long, and have a very small elevation gain, making it a very easy day of exploring. There is even an overlook you can drive to so that you can view the formations without having to hike to them.

IMG_0641

IMG_0670

My recommendation is to walk to the formations. It isn’t far, and you can weave in and out of this natural mini-canyon, just make sure that you do not climb on anything! The clay is fragile and it is not safe to climb on, plus it escalates erosion and we want to preserve this park for as long as possible.

IMG_0616

However, just because you can’t climb on the rocks doesn’t mean you can’t get up close and personal with them!

IMG_0695

IMG_0665

There is no shade on this trail, so if you are going in the summer be sure to wear sunscreen and bring water! Even though the hike is not strenuous, being exposed to the sun can be very tiring on your body. Especially because the terrain is so white, it can be very reflective and warm!

IMG_0646

IMG_0669

If you have the time, take half a day and go explore this beautiful park! It is definitely worth the drive. Happy exploring!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s