• Massive petrified redwood stumps

    Florissant Fossil Beds

    National Monument Colorado

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Things To Do

Ranger Justin giving a talk about the forces of nature and the geology of the Florissant Valley.
Visitors learn about the geology of the area at a ranger talk.
NPS Photo by Sheena Grabski
A Ranger talk in the outdoor exhibit area.

Ranger Greg gives a talk about the forces of nature and the geology of the Florissant Valley.

NPS Photo by Sheena Grabski

A typical visit to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument lasts about 2 - 4 hours. We recommend that all visitors begin their visit at the visitor center.

At the visitor center, you will receive orientation information and you can see geologic exhibits and fossil displays. The bookstore and bathrooms are also located there.

A great way to start your visit is with an introduction to the geologic forces that created our two kinds of fossils. You could either start with the 14 minute orientation film in the Visitor Center Theater called "Shadows of the Past" or a Ranger Talk in the amphitheater behind the Visitor Center.

Behind the visitor center is an outdoor exhibit area where you can see petrified redwood tree stumps and associated exhibits.

From the outdoor exhibit area you will have access to two self-guided trails called the Ponderosa Loop Trail and the Petrified Forest Trail that exhibit petrified redwood tree stumps.

Additionally, the Monument has a total of 14 miles of hiking trails.

In the summer (June 1 - Labor Day), general daily program schedules include:

  • 10:00 AM Ranger Talk
  • Ranger guided walk at 11:00 AM (1 mile, 1.5 hours)
  • Fossil Learning Lab in our Yurt Tent from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Hornbek Homestead Tours 3:00 - 4:00

Please call (719) 748-3253, a week or two before your visit to find out more detailed schedules

Did You Know?


Both adults and aquatic nymphs (juveniles) of damselflies and dragonflies have been found at Florissant fossil beds. You can tell the insect pictured is a damselfly because the wings are held above the body instead of held out horizontally like the wings of an airplane, as in dragonflies. This image is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. To learn More...