There is some evidence to suggest that Paleo Indian and Archaic peoples once inhabited or at least hunted and gathered in the Florissant valley. More is known about the Ute people that once considered the Florissant Fossil Beds area part of their traditional use lands. Many Ute people still live in the area and many come back to visit the Pike’s Peak region as there is still an ongoing connection between the Ute people and the land in the Pike’s Peak region.
The Ute were a nomadic, hunting and gathering society. Although they originally lived in shelters made wood and brush, they eventually adapted the tepees as their primary form of shelter. The tepees were relatively simple in design, placing 12 to 18 poles into a cone shape tied at the top. Then animal skin was draped around the poles with a flap for a door, indicating the front. Their use of the teepee also corresponded with their adoption of the plains horse culture.
The Ute Nation is composed of seven bands or tribes: the Capote, the Mouache, the Parianucs, the Uintahs, the Uncompahgre/Tabeguache, the Weeminuche, and the Yampahs. The Uncompahgre, also known as the Tabeguache, were the most dominant tribe in the Florissant Valley during the time of the early settlement in the area.
Did You Know?
Fossil remains of a brontothere, a rhinoceros-like creature, have been found in the Florissant fossil beds. Brontotheres were enormous, with some standing over eight feet tall.