Paint Mines, Colorado Springs, CO

Odometer: 26,175

We decide to stay another day at the hotel, so we leave very late and spend the morning working.

It’s only about a 45 minutes drive to the Paint Mines east of Colorado Springs. Marco has seen a picture of some hoodoos in the visitors guide and wants to see them life.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is approximately 750 acres and is located in the northeast section of El Paso County near Calhan, about 30 miles east of Colorado Springs. When we arrive at the park, we don’t see anything spectacular – just prairie in every direction. Walking down one of the trails reveals the full beauty of the park – it’s just spectacular. The colorful clays — layers of snowy white, golden yellow, rose pink and purplish mauve — are what give the park its name.

The mines have evidence of human life as far back as 9,000 years ago. The colorful clays were used by Native American for making pottery and ceremonial paints. The park features fantastic geological formations including spires and hoodoos, that were formed through erosive action that created incised gullies and exposed layers of selenite clay and jasper. Though they look like solid stone, the hoodoos and all the other formations are in fact very fragile.

We even see a very special lizard with a very wide back. It’s about 10cm long and at least 5cm wide. We are walking around and taking pictures for about 3 hours before we decide that we have had enough sun. On the way back to the hotel we stop at Golden Corral for a nice buffet dinner.

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