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The Colorado Paint Mines Interpretive Park Is A Desert Oasis Of Prehistoric Colors

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park In Colorado Is An Otherworldly Explosion Of Color

Let’s just say that you don’t see colours in rocks like this everyday. The Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Colorado is one of El Paso County’s most glorious open spaces. With its rich history and breathtaking geology, you’ll see why the Paint Mines are one of the most alluring and intoxicating natural attractions in the area.

What Gives The Hills Their Interesting Colours?

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Image: @shannon.pingel on Instagram

If you’ve ever heard the term “colourful Colorado”, now you know why it’s called that. Near the west edge fo the Great Plains of Eastern Colorado, you’ll find this hiking area and national park waiting with its scathes of beauty.

The chromatic landscape of richly colourful formations called Hoodoos. Made from sandstone, these rocks are actually a ravine. Formed over thousands of years of erosion and wind, the sandstone and rock took on some of the most impressive natural colours you’ll find anywhere.

Because the Hoodoo formations have different degrees of iron oxidized in them, they have layers upon layers of exquisite colours on display for all who visit.

Visiting The Colorado Paint Mines? Here’s What You Need To Know

The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a sublime intersection of ecological, historical, archaeological, and geological resources. Let’s dig into some details so you can go and get the absolute best out of this bucket-list attraction!

Speaking of bucket list attractions in Colorado, be sure to head over to make a little time to stop off in the forest and visit the famous Breckenridge Troll who watches over the forests!

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Paint Mines Interpretive Park?

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Image: @sarah_hall_photography on Instagram

Because of the weather conditions and tourist flow, the best times of year to visit are fall and spring. Summer of course is lovely, but it’s super busy.

Keep in mind however that you’ll want to avoid visiting after a big rain fall. This can make the ground unpredictable, and even hard to access.

Where To Stay 

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Image: @shellaventures on Instagram

Fortunately, you’ve got a wide range of options for places to stay near the Paint Mines. Depending on your budget, you can stay in a hotel, hostel, airbnb, or even camp

The Painted Mines Hike

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The Paint Mines hike is a 3.4 mile loop trail near Calhan, Colorado that’s open for all skill levels.

In line with the true beauty of Colorado, this hike features fragrant wildflowers, and has a diverse ecological system. You’ll find prairie, badlands, and even wetlands in the area. Because of this, you can see coyote, mule deer, songbirds, different kinds of frogs, hawks, falcons, and little bunnies hopping around.

The extraordinary geological formations will line the experience of your hike, and give you so many great picture to take home with you.

Can You Camp At The Park?

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Image: @kcsmilesphotography on Instagram

You can’t camp right at the park as the formations and the park are considered such sacred area.

There are, however, a host of options for camping very close to the park. This link will help you with a bunch of them. Do your own research, and bring your best gear. Maybe you can even stay a few days and enjoy all the breathtaking beauty the area has to offer!

Don’t Disturb The Hills!

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Image: @curlygirlbrunette on Instagram

Here are some reminders for an awesome trip to the Paint Mines:

  • Leave No Trace
  • Stay on Trail – no climbing on rocks or venturing into the canyons
  • Obey signs
  • Set a good example for the little ones watching
  • Talk with your kids ahead of time to set the expectation that this is not an area for rock climbing
  • Treat this place like a museum
  • Leave dogs at home for this hike

Colorado has so much to offer, so go enjoy the heck out of these exquisitely rare formations as part of your adventures. YOLO!


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