Colorado Hiking, Nature January 20, 2019
by Annie Hike This Ancient Forest In Colorado That’s Home To 34-Million-Year-Old Trees
You have visited Mesa Verde a time or two, followed the dinosaur tracks at Picketwire Canyon, and have even paid your respects at the Ludlow Massacre Site, so you have visited nearly every historic place in Colorado, right? Wrong, as Colorado is home to its own extraordinary ancient forest with trees dating back some 34-million-years:
Located smack dab in the middle of Colorado is the must-see Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument; a 6,000-acre destination that is chock-full of surprises!
Established in 1969, this national monument is one of the last petrified forests left in the country and was once in danger of extinction due to excavators and tourists coming through and removing samples.
Since there is so much to see and take in at the Florissant Fossil Beds, we recommend exploring one (or all) of the area's eight trails, which range in distance from a half-mile all the way to 3.8 miles!
During your hike, you will see multiple plant and insect fossils that date back millions of years...
...the old Pioneer House...
What makes the Pioneer House so unique? It is a near-exact replica of the homes original Colorado settlers lived in!
...and, of course, the gigantic redwood stumps that are some of the last of its kind in the world.
The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is located at 15807 Teller County Road 1 in Florissant and is open year round.
Please note: As of this publication, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is closed due to the government shutdown, so please check the National Park Service website for updates before you go.
For even more of our favorite historic hikes, check out
These 5 Trails In Colorado Will Lead You To Extraordinary Ancient Ruins.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.