travel

Hidden Treasures

“It is in the still silence of nature where one will find true bliss”

-J.J.C.

What a weekend! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know I had quite the adventure in Colorado this past weekend. I flew out to Denver and stayed with a really good friend from high school (shout out to those long time, truly amazing friends!). The last time I was in CO with her we had a blast, this time was just as incredible. I’ve talked about those moments during my adventures where I just take a breath and listen. This was one of those trips.

If you’ve never heard of it, I’m not surprised, but there is a park east of Colorado Springs called Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Had never heard of it, didn’t know what to expect driving out, especially since the drive out there was half on a dirt road in the middle of farmland. However, the natural beauty we encountered was better than anything I could have expected.

They aren’t right there, bam in your face. No, you have to work for it. From what I could tell there were two parking lots for the park. Of course, we parked at the one that required quite a hike. It’s less than a mile, but mostly up hill. If you park at the second lot, be careful coming down. It’s really steep!

The formations we stumbled upon were breathtaking. Truly breathtaking. For being 9,000 years old, they look good for their age. We ended up exploring the area for a few hours. I don’t think we even saw half of the park. Even though we had to share it with a Boy Scout troop, there were times of complete silence. It was so unbelievably quiet. I loved it. As a photographer, I was so giddy. I could not wait to see these photos and to show Alex what I had seen and experienced on my trip.

The excitement for us continued on when we overheard someone ask someone else if they had gone up to the cave. My curiosity piqued. We headed immediately in the direction of the cave. Don’t do this if you don’t have good shoes. You’ll twist an ankle. I almost did and I had hiking shoes. Tucked in between the formations sits a neat little cave. We timed it just right (or got super lucky) and had it to ourselves for a bit. Thank the stars cause the pictures were stunning.

Out of the cave and farther into the gulch, the colors are so vibrant and beautiful. But don’t just take my word for it. See for yourself. It’s hard to tell, but they glitter in the sunlight. I was mesmerised by the foundations. I really was.

So if you’re convinced that Paint Mines should be on your next adventure, here are some things you should know:

  • TAKE SUNSCREEN (preferably one that is environmentally friendly)
  • Take a bag and fill it with snacks, make sure you have water on you too
  • There are no restrooms inside the canyon/gulch area, only at the parking lots. Use them before you head in.
  • No dogs! Sorry guys, their rules. Not mine. (hehe. mine. get it. cause they’re called mines. never mind)
  • No climbing. The formations are very fragile. You could also potentially fall and break something
  • There are no trash cans besides the ones at the parking lots. CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
  • Make sure your shoes are made for hiking. You’ll thank me later.

So go, enjoy nature’s gift! Just be respectful. If you’ve been to Paint Mines before, tell me about your experience in the comments! As usual, travel well and travel often!

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