Pretty Paint Park
EL Paso County's Paint Mines Park
We discovered Paint Mines Park in El Paso County this past weekend. This was a great family outing.
The park is 750 acres with about 30 of the acres being an "alien" landscape "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."
The beautiful clays in the park were used by Native Americans as paint pigment. You can really see why when you see the colors.
We entered on the south entrance. We started the walk in. You can see for miles to the north and west. There is a pretty view of Pikes Peak and the plains are laid out in before you. Normally, I am a mountain person. But there is a beauty to the plains that sneaks up on you. you can't help feeling the majesty when you stare out at the view.
When you get to the park, it looks like all the park has is plains. The spectacular landscape is hidden from view behind folds of the rolling plains.
As you keep walking from the south entrance the spectacular rock formations come into view.
If you look closely you can see a bench that overlooks the area. Next to the bench, we found a really cool discovery. A poetry box was located here. We learned that the Smokebrush Foundation has placed a series of these boxes around the Colorado Springs area. This is a temporary exhibit (summer 2007) that was a nice addition to our day in the park.
While Teresa enjoyed the box, my son and I did a little exploring. We enjoyed playing around on the rocks.
A little further down the trail, another area came into view. Instead of multi-colored rocks, this area was comprised of mostly bone white rocks.
This was a surprise and was an interesting change of pace from the previous views we had experienced. The rocks were so dramatic and the rock formations were really cool, even for our kids. You can get right down in the rocks if you follow the trail a little further. The colored rocks picture above was from taken from right down within the rocks.
The park is well worth the drive for a Saturday or Sunday outing.
Here is a video tour I took of the park.
Paint Mines Park near Colorado Springs
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