"When a settler from Missouri came to the site of present-day Florissant, he was so taken with its beauty that he named it after his hometown. Florrisant is French for “flowering,” and this town is indeed home to vibrant rolling meadows, forests, and a variety of wildlife. While you might see a coyote, mountain lion, golden eagle, or mountain bluebird here today, the scene was a tad different 35 million years ago. Instead of coyotes and cougars, Heptodons and Coryphodons, early ancestors of the modern horse, might have been spotted in this area. Instead of aspens and ponderosas, cattails would have grown out of the huge lake that formerly occupied this space, and monster redwood trees also grew in the swampy climate. This short and easy hike boasts amazing remains of the aforesaid ancient redwood trees, and the visitor center hosts a variety of fossilized insects, leaves, and fish. The park also offers a number of guided tours, seminars, and even junior ranger programs." Read more
"These trails explore Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument’s unique fossil record, passing massive petrified tree stumps and old quarries that have yielded some of the world’s best fossilized insects, butterflies, and leaves.
The hikes, which are easily combined into a 1.7-mile loop that begins and ends at the monument visitor center, not only offer fun hiking but also are educational. Interpretive signs are scattered along both trails, giving insight into both yesterday’s fossil record and today’s
ecosystems. These easy walks are ideal for family adventures. The Ponderosa Loop Trail is also wheelchair accessible.
No dogs allowed." Read more