Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Created for leisure in 1969, but with a history predating civilization only discovered in the early 19th century, is your group’s next exciting stop at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Florissant, Colorado (about a mile from Colorado Springs). Within this park, you will see fossils, rocks, hills, and valleys that reveal the ancient story of redwood forests, volcanic eruptions, and a much different climate than we are used to today in modern Colorado. This pioneer nation landmark covers and features the early scientists' discoveries as well as prehistoric hunting and gathering paleo-Indians from the Ute and Jicarilla Apache tribes. A veritable natural history oasis awaits you beneath this grassy mountain valley, one of the richest and diverse fossil deposits in the whole world!
Your group will have the chance to visit the Visitor’s Center, showing a great orientation film called "Shadows of the Past," as well as a state-of-the-art museum and over 14 miles of secluded hiking trails through the serene mountain valley. In the museum, you will see thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants that show you the beginning and depth of prehistoric Colorado. One of the trails will take you through the petrified forest, showing redwood stumps that are an impressive and astonishing 14 feet wide! The trails will show you a view of Pike’s Peak that has remained relatively unchanged through written history, as well as opportunities to see local wildlife such as elk, deer, and coyotes. Have fun as you explore this monument site and take part in hands-on programs that help your group uncover and discover Florissant Fossil Beds!