Renowned Scientist Visits Paint Mines Park
Dr. Russanne Low, PhD calls Paint Mines Park "one of the most significant and interesting sites linking geology and our prehistoric past in a comprehensible and exciting way."
The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is a unique study in both geology and archeology. Although it is part of the El Paso County (Colorado) Parks system, it's importance goes well beyond a typical county park. Situated thirty miles east of present day Colorado Springs, Paint Mines Interpretive Park is 750 acres of unique historical and geologic intrigue.
The Earth is in a constant state of change. Mountains form where continents collide. This slow, but powerful, action causes the spectacular topography we see in mountainous regions throughout the world. The same is true here at Paint Mines. Although not as dramatic as the majestic Rocky Mountains to the west, it is just as facinating.
The great powerful movement of 55 million years ago opened up the dipping sedimentary beds to expose formations created millions of years before. What was exposed was of great interest to the Paleoindians who lived in the area approximately 9,000 years ago (7,000 BCE). Oxidized iron deposits created colorful clays and spectacular hoodoos
created by the erosion of the softer clay around them.
Modern Human History
Remnants of early Paleoindian contact with the park have been found over the years. First contact with the park is estimated as being over 9,000 years ago. The bright and varied colors found in the outcrop are thought to be used by these inventive residents to make colorful pottery found throughout the area.There was also an abundance of petrified wood that could be used in making tools and artifacts. (Remember, if you should be so lucky as to find one of these artifacts as you wander the paved trails in the park, you should immediately let the county officials know - (719)520-6375 - so that they can document the find and continue to record the history of the park. Nothing is allowed to leave the park for obvious reasons.)
Zachariah Hahnen and Max Schnurrenberger (Son of Dr.Douglas Schnurrenberger, PhD) document the park through photography.Visit Zach Hahnen's other site at Beepball
View Paint Mines Interpretive Park in a larger map
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
29950 Paint Mines Road
Calhan, CO 80808 USA