Florissant Fossil Beds
A rich deposit of fossil plants and insects gives an unusually detailed look at life in ancient North America. Standing petrified sequoia stumps provide a striking contrast between the primeval environment and the present day montane ecosystem. Also situated on the monument is the Hornbek Homestead, recalling the life of early pioneers.
- Highest in July and August, though crowding is not a problem at any time; lowest in January and February.
- Florissant, CO
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
P.O. Box 185
Florissant, CO 80816-0185
- (719) 748-3253
- OPERATING HOURS, SEASONS:
- Open daily from 9 - 5 . There may be
extended hours in the summer, please call for details.
- CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING:
- Summers are generally of short duration with warm days and cool nights. Freezing temperatures can and often do occur during summer months. Sub-zero lows are common in the winter; dress in warm layers to keep dry and to prevent hypothermia. The altitude here is 8,500 above sea level so pace yourself in any season.
- Visitors traveling north/south on I-25: Exit at US 24 West, travel 35 miles to town of Florissant, then follow signs two miles south to the visitor center.
Visitors traveling east/west on US 24: Exit at the town of Florissant, then follow signs two miles south to the visitor center.
Visitors traveling from the town of Cripple Creek: Follow Teller County Road 1 north for 16 miles.
- To Park: access by US Highway 24 and Teller County Road 1.
In Park: personal vehicle, bicycle, tour buses.
- FEES, COST, RATES:
- Fees - $3.00 per adult (15
and under are free).
- FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES:
- The visitor center serves as a museum and information center. Fossil and other exhibits are on display and books and brochures are available. The Hornbek Homestead is preserved as an example of early homesteading in the Florissant Valley. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
- Trails, Roads:
- Petrified sequoia stumps can be seen on the Walk Through Time (1/2 mile) and Petrified Forest (1 mile) trails. There are nearly 12 miles of trails through ponderosa pine forest and mountain meadows.
- There are regularly scheduled interpretive talks and walks by rangers during the summer season. In addition, rangers lead a series of free mini-seminars on various weekends during the summer.
- Lodging and camping facilities:
- None in park. Camping sites are available nearby in the Pike National Forest and Mueller State Park. A variety of hotels, motels, and RV camping sites are available in the surrounding area.
- Restaurants and a convenience store are available in the town of Florissant, two miles north. A supermarket and a variety of restaurants and retail stores are available in Woodland Park, 15 miles east.
- Other Concessions/NPS-Managed Visitor Facilities and Opportunities:
- The Rocky Mountain Nature Association, a National Park Service Cooperating Association, manages a bookstore/sales outlet in the park visitor center.
- The visitor center and associated petrified stump displays are fully wheelchair accessible. The self-guided trails and the Hornbek Homestead are accessible to ADAS Challenge Level I.
- Special Needs:
- Parking areas are available at each site with bus parking available at the visitor center.
- RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES/PARK USE:
- Observing petrified stumps and using the self-guiding brochures on the Walk Through Time and Petrified Forest Trails; wildlife, bird, and wildflower watching; sight-seeing at the historic homestead.
- It is recommended that reservations for school groups or other groups be made at least one month prior to visit. For additional information concerning reservations, special use, or filming permits, call (719) 748-3253.
- BASIC VISIT RECOMMENDATIONS:
- A feeling for the fossil resources can be gained in a short half-hour visit; however, it is recommended that visitors spend at least a half a day attending a talk and exploring the trails.
- SPECIAL EVENTS, PROGRAMS:
- Friends of Florissant Fossil Beds, Inc. sponsors a summer seminar series offering a variety of day-long classes on the natural history of the region. Each July the Hornbek Homestead Days event recreates pioneer life of the 1880's. In December, an old fashioned Christmas is celebrated.
- VISITOR IMPACTS:
- Information on prohibitions and restrictions provided at the visitor center.
- ADJACENT VISITOR ATTRACTIONS:
- Pike National Forest and Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas; Mueller State Park; and the historical mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor.
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
- Write Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, P.O. Box 185, Florissant,
CO 80816-0185, or call (719) 748-3253.
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