Nature & Science

Nature and Science
Overview of a petrified Sequoia tree and the Florissant Valley

Cliff and Jean Dickey

Located 35 miles west of Colorado Springs, Florissant Fossil Beds N.M. is a 6,000 acre wonderland of meadows, forests, and wildflowers. At 8,400 feet of elevation, the Monument lies within the montane life zone. Ponderosa Pine, Aspen, Fir, and Spruce are the dominant trees. Wapiti (Elk), mule deer, coyotes, foxes, bears, mountain lions, are some of the large mammals that inhabit the area. Birds of prey scan the meadows for ground squirrels and mice.

Beneath the ground is one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. Up to 1700 different species have been described. A majority of those fossils are fragile, detailed compression and impression fossils of insects and plants. The largest fossils are massive, petrified Sequoia trees. These are some of the largest diameter petrified trees in the world.

If you love fossils, be sure to check out the other 8 national park units designated to protect fossils:

  1. Agate Fossil Beds National
  2. Badlands National Park
  3. Dinosaur National Monument
  4. Fossil Butte National Monument
  5. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  6. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument
  7. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
  8. Petrified Forest National Park

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 185
Florissant, CO 80816


(719) 748-3253

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