Engagement Session at The Paint Mines, Colorado

This gorgeous state I get to call home has earned a lot of nicknames for all of the nature on display, one being Colorful Colorado. One of my fave places that brings that name to life is The Paint Mines Interactive Park, located in Calhan, Colorado, just an hour and a half drive from downtown Denver. The park covers 750 acres and was named for its colorful clays that Native Americans used way back when to make their paint. There’s something for everyone here – prairie, wetland, and rock formations called hoodoos lined with shades of pink, purple, gold, and white. Talk about DREAMY.

While most of my couples envision heading west for their mountain elopement, The Paint Mines in Eastern Colorado are a hidden treasure!

Taking Pictures or Eloping at The Paint Mines? Here are some tips:

  • The park is open to everyone and free to enter, but because the rock formations and other parts of nature there are so fragile, it’s illegal to climb the rock formations. All of the plants, wildlife, rocks, and historic artifacts are protected by the law too.
  • Dogs are also not allowed, so if you want your fur baby with you, this won’t be the location for you.
  • As far photography goes, commercial photographers and videographers need a permit to shoot! Prices can differ based on the project, so they need to reach out to the El Paso County Parks Office.
  • The Paint Mines are also closed at night, but if you want those dreamy night shots that can be worked into your permit.
  • Keeping an eye on the weather is a must for this location! The trails are mostly all made of clay, so things get slippery and muddy after it rains. Definitely pack an extra pair of shoes just in case. Because most of this location is rock and prairie, there aren’t any trees for shade, so if you’re heading out during the summer it’s going to be HOT!

Places to Check Out in Colorado Springs

Calhan is off the beaten path, but it’s just a quick 45-minute drive away from Colorado Springs where there’s so much to do! Here are some popular spots:

Ready to start planning for your Colorado Elopement?

Fill out my contact form to get started and I’ll help you plan the elopement of your dreams.  


"She is so good at making sure that your day goes exactly how you want it - even when you want to get tattoos on your wedding day and have them photographed! If you're looking for a photographer... STOP because McKenzie Bigliazzi is the only option. Trust me, they don't get better than this wonderful human and her team!"

Claudia and Jose

"McKenzie is the breath of fresh air to work with, from the initial inquiry to post-wedding bliss! The communication is always so timely and she is a woman of her word. She proclaims to help you from start to finish with guides and she even helped us search locations, she does what she says and then some."

Tori and Tyler

"McKenzie is our all time favorite! I knew from the moment she sent us a meme (and a video introducing herself) in her response to our inquiry, she HAD to be our photographer. Her energy is so positive and supportive and exactly what you need on your wedding day + leading up to it. 

Brooke and Abhay

"The amount of love, comfort, and acceptance that Kenzie provided to my husband who is transgender is as if we've been friends our entire lives. The talent, the love, the personality, the location, and finally, KENZIE herself!?! Come on...SAY LESS AND BOOK HER!"

Taylor and Lachlan