After a wonderful weekend at The Great Sand Dunes National Park, I made a pit-stop at The Paint Mines Interpretive Park just east of Colorado Springs. I had been seeing pictures of these stunning rocks for months, so I was very excited when some of my friends and a few ladies from the Women Who Hike Colorado group wanted to make the trip with me!
We met early in the morning, and it was a good thing we did. When we left, the parking lot was full and muddy. In fact, the entire trail and hike was very muddy. The trail starts with a quick, half-mile walk to the first formations.
These first formations were just a tease of what was to come. They were great to see first, because they were near the trail and built up our anticipation for all the beautiful and colorful rocks to come, since these were mainly white sandstone. We took pictures, kept walking, and tried to not get held up at what we knew was a lesser stop.
Down the muddy and snowy trail a little further was the epic valley of red and orange striped spires poking out of the ground. When we came over the ridge and saw the entire layout from above, we were in awe, giddy, and stunned all at the same time.
Once we saw other people down in the canyon, we knew we had to go in and see what was hiding below.
By the end of the day, we were all worn out from all of the trudging through slick conditions and climbing beautiful formations. We hiked back out and sat in the parking lot to share our pictures with one another and talk about how much fun the day had been together. We all agreed that the park was much more magical than any of the pictures or reviews had made it out to be!