Plan A Field Trip

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument will not offer any Ranger-led field trips for the remainder of 2023. Please check back in spring 2024 for more information about field trip opportunities. See below if you are interested in a Teacher-led field trip.

Teacher-Guided Field Trips

Teachers may bring students to the park for field trips. For free entrance to the park, a representative from the school will need to fill out and email in the Education Fee Waiver form (linked below). Regardless of the time of year or weather conditions, everyone will have a more enjoyable and productive visit if they are well-prepared for the day. Check out this field trip orientation letter to help you plan your visit.

Education Fee Waiver Form

A typical field trip to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument for K-12:

Activities are dependent on staff availability, number of students attending, and time of year. Some activities can be lengthened and curriculum changed based on the grades of the students.

Field trips typically occur in the spring, April-May, and in the fall, September-November. Most field trips are scheduled Monday – Friday 10 AM to 1PM and must be prearranged & scheduled through the park. Please e-mail us or call 719-748-3253. Please contact the park at least two weeks in advance of your proposed field trip date.

Rangerl leading students on hike through meadow
Ranger leading students during a hike

NPS Photo

Guided Hikes

Guided hike on the 1-mile Petrified Forest Loop. A ranger will greet the students and guide them through an ancient petrified redwood forest, showcasing the iconic fossilized redwood stumps in the park. The ranger will talk about how the trees became fossils, ancient Lake Florissant, early homesteaders, and the park’s early history.

Guided hike on the ½ mile Ponderosa Loop. Self-guided or guided walk through a modern Ponderosa forest, look for park wildlife like Abert's squirrels and Stellar Jays! Meet a ranger in the old amphitheater for a short talk to learn about local wildlife. View elk antler sheds, furs and pelts from Rocky Mountain wildlife.

Student reading display in the Visitor Center
Student interacting with display

NPS Photo

Exploration of Visitor Center
Self-guided exploration of the visitor center exhibit area inside the visitor center. Students can read exhibit panels on climate change and paleontology & look up close at delicate leaf and insect fossils from 34 million years ago. A 15 minute film is also available for up to 25 students at a time.
Students investigating fossil in Fossil Lab
Students investigating fossils in Fossil Lab

NPS Photo

Fossil Learning Lab (seasonal)
Join a ranger at the Fossil Learning Lab (in the yurt). Students can look at fossils under microscopes, dig in outdoor sand pits, and play with other interactive fossil learning stations. (*As of 9/18/2023, the Fossil Learning Lab is now closed until spring/summer 2024)

Ranger talking to students in amphitheater
Ranger talking to students

NPS Photo

Ranger Talk
Meet with a ranger in the outdoor amphitheater for a 20 minute presentation to learn how giant redwoods turned into stumps of stone.
Ranger talking to students at Hornbek Homestead
Students visiting Hornbek Homestead

NPS Photo

Historic Homestead Tour

Meet with a ranger for a tour of the 1878 Hornbek Homestead. Students can walk through the old homestead, tour a carriage house, barn, and root cellar to gain a glimpse of what life was like over 100 years ago living in the Florissant valley.

Students digging in sand pits
Student exploring in sand pits

NPS Photo

Other Activities

Other activities and curriculum may be offered based on conversations and planning that occurs between teachers and the park’s education coordinator. More information on self guided trips can be found here.
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Last updated: September 20, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 185
Florissant, CO 80816


719 748-3253

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