Florissant Fossil Beds and Garden of the Gods

We are so excited to share these two things with all of you! We randomly decided one early morning that we’d like to go for a drive through the mountains, but this time I, Lily, wanted a destination, something to explore and tell you all about, so we settled on Florissant Fossil Beds.

The drive out there was incredible. We took 285 West to CO-67 S, but you could take I-25 from Denver to Colorado Springs and then head into the mountains. Barely any time difference. We prefer to drive in the mountains than to take a busy highway. Anyway, the drive is beautiful, and if you feel inclined to bring a packed lunch, like us, then you’ll have many spectacular places to pull over and eat, or you can wait until you get to Florissant Fossil Beds. It’s about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive from Denver.

We’ve never been so we weren’t sure what to expect. Go inside the main building to pay for your entrance fee, which was about $10 per person, and then head through their tiny museum. You’ll learn that the area used to be a massive lake during the period of the dinosaurs, and see some of the impressive fossils they’ve found. Just think about how many more there might be under your feet!

After you’re done with the museum, whip out your map, and figure out which way you’d like to head. There are several hiking trails, and none of them are too difficult. I think the longest is max 3 miles, and it’s mainly over flat terrain, but you might want to consider some sneakers or hiking boots! There are several massive fossilized redwood trees that you can see, and we recommend going out to the Big Redwood. It’s about a mile or so out, but it is an impressive tree. Bring your sun cream! And the camera! The area is beautiful.

Once you’re done exploring, don’t forget to pick up something from the gift shop. Michael and I love to collect postcards and stick them into a photo book. It’s easy to show people hundreds of places, without having to carry about every single knick-knack that you’ve picked up.

As we thought about leaving, we decided we would continue on a little further and head over to the Colorado Springs area, and then Michael asked, “How about we also see Garden of the Gods?” It had not been a part of the plan, but we’ve never been there together, and it is another place that must be seen, so we headed on over.

You don’t have to pay to enter Garden of the Gods, and for the most part, you can drive around, but if you want pictures, you’ll have to battle it out for the very few available parking spots. We lucked out and got a spot! The reason for going? You’ll have to check out our photo section, “Colorado Life” to find out. There are impressive red rocks to be seen, and one of them looks like two camels kissing. There’s a large gift shop that also has a cafeteria if you’re looking for a snack.

After that, we headed back to Denver using I-25.

Happy exploring!