Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are pets allowed into the park?
Answer: Pets are prohibited from every part of the Monument except for the parking lot and pet exercise area which is just off the parking lot. Pets in the parking lot or exercise area must be on a leash.
Question: What kinds of fossils are here and where can I see them?
Answer: There are basically two types of fossils that you will see on a visit to the Monument - massive petrified stumps of redwood trees.and tiny, fragile fossils of insects, plants, spiders, fish, cones, and seeds.
The redwood stumps are the fossils you will see outside walking around. They are best seen in the outdoor exhibit area behind the visitor center and on the one-mile, self-guided, Petrified Forest Loop. The tiny, fragile fossils are best seen in displays in the visitor center.
Question: What can I do here?
Answer: During the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can attend a variety of ranger-led programs such as talks and walks. Self-guided tours, an outdoor exhibit area, and the visitor center and bookstore are available year-round. There are 15 miles of hiking trails.
Question: Are there dinosaur fossils here?
Answer: No, the fossils found at Florissant are from after the dinosaurs.
Question: Can I collect fossils in the Monument? Where can I collect fossils?
Answer: Collecting of any natural or cultural feature is prohibited because this is a national park area. Fossils, rocks, flowers, pine cones, artifacts, etc. must remain in the Monument. There is a small, privately owned quarry outside the Monument where you can pay a fee and collect fossils.
Question: Why is this a national park area? When and why was it set aside?
Answer: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was created in 1969. It was created to protect world-class paleontological resources (fossils). It is one of the richest fossil deposits in the world.
Question: Are "they" still "digging" and looking for fossils?
Answer: Yes, we have a full-time paleontologist and on occassion excavations are conducted, however, other types of research is always taking place.
Question: Can I camp there?
Answer: There is no camping within the national monument. There are many public camping sites nearby including Mueller State Park, Eleven Mile State Park, Eleven Mile Canyon, and the Pike National Forest.
Did You Know?
More than 220 national park units preserve fossils! However, only 9 units were specifically set aside to protect fossils and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is one of those!