Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
The fossils, rocks, hills, and valleys that make up Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument reveal to us an ancient story of redwood forests, volcanic eruptions, and a climate much different than today. - NPS
Established as a protected natural zone in 1969, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument holds one of the 'richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world', a fascinatingly informative stop to make with your student group while in Colorado Springs.
Your group will see petrified redwood stumps up to 14 feet wide, plus thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants that tell the story of a prehistoric Colorado. Start your journey at the Visitor Center where you will be able to explore several different hands-on exhibits and fossil displays, as well as sit and watch the 14-minute feature film Shadows of the Past.
Next head outside to see the outdoor exhibits (petrified stumps) then hit any of the trails within the 14-mile park system. Some favorite trails include the Ponderosa Loop, Petrified Forest Loop, and Geological Trail. You will see plants and animals that thrive in the Montaine life zone, such as eagles, mule deer, mountain lions, elk, tiger salamanders, and several different birds.
Be sure to check to see if there are any guided ranger programs, summer hikes, junior ranger activities, or other special events happening during your visit!