Florissant Fossil Beds & Fossil Dig

Date: July 25, 2020
Location:  Show map
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
15807 Co Rd 1
Florissant, CO 80816
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Tickets

Tickets not currently available for this event

We still hope to run this trip, but we may have to modify it. As of mid-May, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument's visitor center is closed; the trails are still open. We are monitoring the situation and will make a decision about the trip in June.

Trip Leader: Blake Sullivan

Join us as we travel to explore the Eocene Florissant Formation just outside Colorado Springs.

Thirty-six million years ago the area was covered with towering redwoods and buzzing with dozens of insect species. We will start the day exploring Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument with curators and sneaking in behind the scenes to view the collection room. With a couple hours of free time we can explore the nearby trails on our own and gaze at the magnificent forest left behind from the Late Eocene.

We will regroup and head down the road a ways where the Clare Family will allow us 2 hours of digging at their private quarry. Tools are provided and we will even throw in a flat box (15.5” by 10.5” by 2”) to store your fossil finds in. Everyone should expect to find exquisitely preserved fossil insects and plants! We will be allowed to keep what we find, but if it is exceptional let's consider a donation to DMNS!

Logistics:

Participants will meet at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center (near Colorado Springs) at 9:30 am. We start the day with an overview talk about the geology and fossils of the Florissant area, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection. After the tour, participants will have some time to explore the national monument on their own before we all meet for lunch back at the visitor center (bring your own lunch). After lunch we will drive to the quarry together for the dig. We plan to be done by 3:00 pm to give folks enough time to drive back to Denver. Additional time at the quarry can be purchased after the trip has concluded or you can check out the spectacular rock formations of the nearby Red Rocks Canyon Open Space Park.

This trip will take place on hiking trails in the morning and in a quarry in the afternoon. Vegetation is sparse and we may encounter rattlesnakes or other critters during this time of year. Please bring protective gear to work in the quarry. Everybody is required to wear hiking boots and we recommend bringing hiking poles, food and water, and sun protection as there will be plenty of sun exposure.

The entrance fee to the National Monument is $10 for adults (age 16 or older) and is not included in the trip costs. All participants are responsible to pay for entry into the park. Lunch will be held at the Florissant visitor center before leaving for the quarry. Please bring your own lunch and plenty of water.

This trip is open to children age 5 and up; the quarry requires children to be at least 5 years old to visit.

Helpful links:

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument: https://www.nps.gov/flfo/index.htm

Florissant Fossil Quarry: https://florissantfossilquarry.weebly.com

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