Things To Do
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, general daily program schedules include:
Did You Know?
The name Florissant comes from a French word meaning "blooming" or "flowering." Florissant, Colorado was settled in 1870 and named after the town of Florissant, Missouri. The name still holds true as there are both modern and fossil flowers found in the area today.