Florissant Fossil Beds: 5 Reasons To Check It Out!

We had been on the road for more than two months. We were eager to get home and anxious to be on the road when we found ourselves in Colorado with our “check engine” light on. Thankfully, family loaned us a car so we could set off on some day trips! Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is less an hour drive from Colorado Springs. It was one place that we had yet to explore.

Here are 6 reasons that we are glad we did!

1. Hands-on Activities

The variety and depth of hands-on experiences were more than expected. We joined the kids for one lap around the visitor’s center and nearby yurt before they settled into their activities of choice. From digging for fossils, to sorting rocks, we spent much more time here than planned.

We loved looking at fossils and rocks also.
Fossil sites are fun for digging also!

2. Hiking

I was glad to find more than 10 miles of trails to hike! In addition to meadows, you can find pine forests and boulder fields. The views are much different than those just a short drive east.

Not just fun hiking, the views are great too!

3. Self Guided Walking Tours

The walking tours are easy to follow and full of fun facts also.

Check out the tour, its worth it!

4. A Petrified Redwood Forest at the Fossil Beds

I expected to see fossils but I didn’t expect an ancient lake and forest!

This may be the best old forest of all time. We all agreed, by the way.
This “big stump” didn’t fit in the scene where it was stood but we thought it was cool.
Also, an old forest was there. The kids liked it too, however!

5. Get your stamps here: National Park Passport stamps and Junior Ranger Badges

Why not?!

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Craters Of The Moon National Monument: In One Day
Oregon’s Coast, Manzanita: A Hidden Gem.

Cape Perpetua, Oregon Coast Day-Trip.

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The Oregon coast offers views and endless access to the ocean. There are so many options that it is hard to decide where to go next. The coast is one of our favorite winter day-trips.

What to pack for a winter day-trip to the Oregon Coast?

Hats, gloves, rain pants, spare socks, spare clothes, winter jackets, sunglasses, and rain jackets.

Our van stays stocked with food and kitchen supplies but I usually make sure that I have plenty of hot cocoa and a fast way to boil water!

You will also need your Interagency Pass and your National Parks Passport book if you have one.

What does Cape Perpetua and the Oregon Coast have to offer?

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area includes 2700 arces of Oregon’s coast. There are views from 800 feet above the shore.

There is a trail system, visitor’s center, ranger programs, and amazing views. Bring your inter-agency pass and settle in for the day.

Visitor’s Center view. Sprinter DIY.

A paved trail, with a tunnel under 101, leads from the visitor’s center to places with names like Devil’s churn and Thor’s well.

The approach down to the Devil’s Churn.

Are There Tide Pools?

There are tide pools. It is worth noting that these are not nearly as robust as the ones a few miles north at Yaquina Head, but none the less, the kids enjoy them.

Where Should We Eat Lunch?

As usual, we are always on the look out for places to park our van and enjoy a good meal. Cape Perpetua does not disappoint!

Head approximately one mile south to Neptune South. It is sure not to disappoint!

The kids love checking out the beach, running through water, splashing in puddles, discovering beach creatures, skipping stones, making dams, and they will continue this all day if I let them!

The pics do not do it justice!

rocks
beach and stones
Neptune South
sun and views
This is crazy sand.
Coast with a view, wind, waves, sun

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