I didn’t really know what I would find at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, but it wasn’t far from Cripple Creek, so I decided to stop and see what was there. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much.
From Victor, take CO Rte. 67 north to Cripple Creek. In downtown, Rte. 67 turns to the right, while Cripple Creek-Florissant Road turns to the left, leading to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
There are several trails to hike. The shortest is near the visitor’s center, and leads past the stumps of several giant petrified trees…
… and this outcropping of rock, which contains a few fossils.
Look closely, and you can almost see an imprint on this rock.
While I didn’t try any of the longer trails, I didn’t find anything exciting here. So, I’d recommend visiting only if you’re fascinated by fossils, or looking for a nice place to take a walk.
Just north of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, you’ll run into US Hwy. 24. Head east, back to Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.
Note: This trip was first published in 2005.