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Hidden Road Trip Gems

PAINT MINES INTERPRETIVE PARK IN EASTERN COLORADO

Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

A mere 30 miles East of Colorado Springs is one of the mist vibrant, natural landscapes any road tripper and admirer of geographical exploration and photographic opportunities will discover: Paint Mines Interpretive Park!

“Hoodoos,” or pink and orange colored-clay formations (also known as “spires”) make up 750-acres of jaw dropping sight-seeing that is free to the public and wildly interesting for both adults and kids alike. Hike down, through, up, and around these amazing earthly establishments that show evidence of Native American occupation an in-comprehensible estimated 9000 years ago.

This expansive stretch of land is hard to grasp from a distance, but the up-close arrival to the destination sucks you in as you literally gasp at the unexpected landscape dozens of yards below, complete with gorgeous colors, textures, and the inevitable stories you know are woven deep in its historical roots.  

Whether you plan them out, or stumble upon the US’s most wild, wonderful, and whimsical road trip side destinations, just know that the plethora of them around, primarily the natural story telling wonders of the world, are by far the most exhilarating, fulfilling, and jaw dropping conversation pieces that are sure to leave an imprint in your own geography of thought.   

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