Monday, August 30, 2010

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, CO


There are so many interesting things to do in the Colorado Springs area. Yesterday we took a ride over to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, only 15 miles west of Woodland Park. Here is one of the largest fossil deposits in the world, with 1700 species of plants, insects and vertebrates having been identified. There are nice displays at the Visitor Center, rangers give frequent talks, and there are 14 miles of hiking trails.

We looked for elk along the Sawmill trail, a 2.4 mile loop through the forest, but didn’t see any. We also took the Petrified Forest Walk, a one mile trail that passes by many massive petrified redwood stumps. They are huge.

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This is the world’s only known trio of petrified redwoods.


This next stump was the most interesting. Before this area became a national monument, it was under private ownership, and was abused by people taking chunks of the petrified wood for souvenirs. This trunk still has two rusted saw blades stuck in it.


Hard to believe 35 million years ago there was a lake surrounded by huge Sequoia redwoods in this area. We spent a pleasant couple of hours in the park, and are always glad that the national park system has preserved places like this for everyone to enjoy.

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