We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Small jewel in the Colorado Mountains.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
15807 County Road 1, Florissant, CO 80816
719 748 3253
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 3 Attractions in Florissant
Type: Monuments/ Statues, National Parks, Landmarks
Activities: Viewing foliage
Attraction details
Newbern, Tennessee
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
120 attraction reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
563 helpful votes 563 helpful votes
“Small jewel in the Colorado Mountains.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2008

Not too far from Cripple Creek is this small park that is very interesting in its own right.
Florissant Fossil Beds is an area that once had redwood trees. Today it contains one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. You'll see the petrified stumps as you travel along walkways, with some stumps up to 14 feet wide. Also preserved are thousands of insect and plant fossils. But to get anything out of it, especially with children, you have to apply yourself. The park staff can certainly help you in that respect. Otherwise you're just looking at a bunch of dead wood. This is the type of park I totally enjoy - small and not overwhelming.

The park is in the Colorado high country. The backroads route from Cripple Creek to Florissant is a treat in itself. It's paved, but not like a state highway, and not as heavily traveled.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

106 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
298 helpful votes 298 helpful votes
“A Nice Time in a Beautiful Area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2007

National Monuments are often disappointing to tourists who find them lacking in National Park punch. The fossil beds are a nice place to visit, and if you try to learn as much as you can, it's a great experience.

The area was once a lakebed that held redwood trees, and you can see the petrified stumps of these giants in the monument. If you've visited the redwoods in California, this is a great place to take the family as follow-up.

If you travel with kids, go right to the visitor center and ask a ranger to help them earn a junior ranger badge that day. The activities are really fun and you will learn things too.

Listen to aranger talk, and watch the movie. Explore the trails. The gorgeous Colorado views are worth the trip! Take a picnic. Wander around the old homestead. On your way home or to your motel or campsite, stop at a local rock shop to pick up a souvenir.

Kids love this place, but only if they get engaged. Park staff always want to help visitors have a good experience. Walk up to a ranger and tell him or her how much time you have and what you can do in that time to best see the monument.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fountain Valley, California
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Hidden Treasure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2007

While in Colorado on Vacation we decide to head to the Florissant Fossil Beds, we have the National Park Passport Books, and our son wanted to head out to see the fossil beds, and to get a stamp in his book. We had read a review on the website, and were a little apprehensive, but went anyway with little expectation. What we found was a hidden treasure. Our 16 year old son loved it. No you don't get to see the fossils out on the trails through the park, but the visitor center does have fossils labeled in cases. The park rangers were extremely knowledgeable, and able to explain the elements of the park. Once outside on a trail, the trail ranger came over and talked to our son, and guided us to an area in the park that was very fascinating, and he had seen a heard of elk earlier in the day. I am so glad we headed on out to the park, it really was a great experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
448 helpful votes 448 helpful votes
“Not much here....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2004

We drove an hour to get here and it wasn't worth the drive. All you see is a few large petrified stumps - not all together either - you must walk a trail to see one, keep walking then see another. Because of the weather there, the park ranger said that we wouldn't be able to see any fossils - the weather destroys them too fast. So instead they had a glass display of some inside. There is an old homestead you can see in the distance over a field which was once a lakebed a long, long time ago. I have no idea how this became a National Monument. Whoever passed the law making it such probably never visited the site. Unless you have time to waste or want to walk a long trail to see a petrified stump here and there - don't bother.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument also viewed


Been to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.