One of the places we were looking forward to visiting during our time in this area is the Painted Mines Interpretive Park. Located about 30 miles east of Colorado Spring the park consists of 4 miles of trails that rise over 500 feet in elevation. It covers 750 acres, containing grassland and geological formations of hoodoos, colored clay, and sandstone-capped spires. Approaching the park, one might start to wonder if they are in the right place as there is nothing but flat grasslands for as far as the eye can see. But soon the ground opens up to a small ravine that has eroded away over time, revealing richly colored clayish rocks, in shades of yellow, purple, red, and gray.
There are two parking areas next to the park. One is near a viewpoint where you are standing above the formations looking down at them.
The second parking area gives you access to a trail that leads down into the formations.
Once at the bottom of the trail, visitors are free to just wander through the formations. From this point in this post we’ll let the photos tell the story of our visit to the Painted Mines.
On our final day in the Pueblo area we went downtown to walk the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. This one mile long canal through the center of the downtown is a tourist attraction inspired by the San Antonio Riverwalk.
The water follows the former route of the Arkansas River. At one time the river ran right through the center of town before a devastating flood in 1921 destroyed the downtown and changed the course of the river south of the city.
That’s it for our visit to Pueblo and Colorado Springs. Next up is a stay in Salida, CO. More on that in our next post . . .