A typical field trip to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument for K-12:
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 Albert 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.
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.
Fossil Learning Lab
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.
Meet with a ranger in the outdoor amphitheater for a 20 minute presentation to learn how giant redwoods turned into stumps of stone.
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.
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.
Last updated: August 31, 2019