• Massive petrified redwood stumps

    Florissant Fossil Beds

    National Monument Colorado

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    The prescribed burn on approximately 180 acres of monument land starting the week of October 13 has been postponed. If conditions and planning updates are met, the operation may still occur later the month or maybe spring. Check back for updates. More »

Plan Your Visit

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Visitors on the Petrified Forest Loop

NPS Photo by Sheena Grabski

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Florissant Fossil Beds is a great place to visit any time of year, although most visitation takes place late spring through early fall.

Getting Started:
We recommend all new visitors begin their adventure at the Visitor Center. There you can receive orientation information as the information desk and see the "Shadows of the Past" orientation film. In the visitor center you can explore exhibits and the bookstore.

If we have 2 - 4 hours:

Most visits last about 2 - 4 hours. During this time we recommend:

  • Seeing the park film and exploring the exhibits
  • Hiking on the self guided Petrified Forest Loop (1 mile) to see the petrified tree stumps or the 1/2 Ponderosa Loop Trail
  • Attending a ranger program (June 1 - Labor Day)
  • Participating in the Junior Ranger program (4 - 12 year olds)
  • visiting the grounds of the Hornbek Homestead
  • having a picnic lunch

Besides the Visitor Center parking area, there are 2 additional parking areas for relaxing and exploring:

  • The Barksdale Picnic Area near the eastern boundary offers 2 metal grills and 4 picnic tables.
  • The Historic Hornbek Homestead parking lot, north of the Visitor Center on Teller 1 offers 2 picnic tables as well as information about Adeline Hornbek who once lived in the historic homestead.

Visitor Center parking area offers 9 picnic tables and 2 metal grills for your enjoyment.

Did You Know?

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In 1922, Fossil Cycad National Monument, in South Dakota, was established as the third NPS area to preserve fossils, however by the mid 1930s all the fossils visible at the surface had been removed, leaving nothing for visitors to see. As a result, congress removed Fossil Cycad National Monument from the National Park System in 1957.