Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
As a California resident, I have had the joy and honor of seeing massive redwood trees that started life a few hundred to a few thousand years ago. Native redwood trees only inhabit certain regions of the Earth today. In United States, it grows on the western coast, in Oregon and California.
A fossilized redwood stump, Florissant National Fossil Beds, Colorado
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument showed us that redwoods grew in many more places than its current range. In Central Colorado, right in the center of the United States, there lies a redwood grove of the past. There were many redwood stumps from a grove that grew 35 million years ago, some as wide as 14 feet in diameter. Though the stumps look like wood, closer inspection reveals that the wood is actually rock, making these stumps petrified. Walking around, we noticed that there are many other stumps peeking out of the ground, waiting for excavation, by erosion or by human intervention. Amazingly, the stumps themselves have begun to give life. Several stumps had little trees or bushes growing in its middle.
New tree growing from the fossilized redwood giant, Florissant National Fossil Beds, Colorado
I believe there were fossils of insects at Florissant as well, but the redwood fossils were the ones that stuck in my memory. It was amazing to see petrified giants of such an ancient time.
|Features:||Take a stroll to view the petrified stumps of giant redwoods of 35 million years ago, some of which has become habitats of their own to the next generation|
|Our Hike:||1.5 mile hike on mostly flat dirt paths|
|Fee:||$10/person 16+ years old - good for 7 days, National Parks Pass covers 4 persons 16+ years old, Kids up to 15 years old free|
|Website:||For updated information, visit Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument|
|Directions:||35 miles out of Colorado Springs|