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Monday, April 26, 2010

Florissant Fossil Beds

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument was a unique place. The fossilized redwood stumps were pretty amazing, but other than that, I found it rather disappointing.

The visitor center has only about 2 dozen fossils on display (along with several pictures). After hearing about the fossils found at Florissant that are preserved with an astonishing amount of detail, and that are shown on display at many prominent museums, I was greatly disappointed. The displays in the visitor center are remarkably underwhelming. Not only that, but some of the signs along the outside paths talk of newly excavated fossils that are catalogued and placed into files. I was left wondering how many rooms there are filled with fossils that most of us will never see. Bring some of those fossils out and let us see them! I'd much rather see actual fossils than pictures of fossils

Although I found the displays of the little fossils lacking, the larger fossilized tree stumps were pretty cool. The biggest one was over 10 feet tall, and probably 15 feet across. The triplet stump was pretty cool too.

Nearest City: Florissant, CO
GPS Coordinates:
Time Needed: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Kid Friendly: Yes
Additional Info:


  1. Did you take the time to look through the exhibit cases in the visitor center or talk to a ranger about why there aren't more fossils out on display? If you had, you're experience probably would have been a very different one. They have a large number of fossil in the display drawers, but they are small and delicate and subject to a lot of changes in climate when they are out like that. The beautiful bee fossil that is their logo was almost lost because of the wear and tear from being in the display case (which is why they only have a replica of it visible now).

  2. I spoke to a ranger. He said that they have wanted a new visitor center for the past 20 years and hope to have it built and open in 2013. They currently have a lack of display space, but hope to have plenty with the new center.