Florissant Formation- Florissant, CO

This site is a fee site on private land, located near the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument about an hour west of
Colorado Springs. The National Monument is nearby and is worth the time to peruse the visitor's center to learn about the fossils.

Florissant Fossil Quarry

Quarry Face

The quarry is not very big. When we visited, the face was "off limits". The material was piled in front of the face to dry out.

Florissant Shale - Eocene

The shale was formed in a lake that was periodically inundated with volcanic ash falls. The laminations in the shale are very thin and fine grained.

Example Fossils

The quarry operators have some examples of what can be found.


You grab some of the material and split it carefully, hoping to find a bug or leaf.
The shale splits very finely. There could be a nice fossil on any of the thin layers.

Splitting the bits of shale

Picnic tables are available for your splitting comfort.

Split with a nice Leaf Fossil

Every split is an opportunity. You don't end up going through a large quantity of material.

Sample of the shale

Box to Take Home

There is a relatively high probability that you'll find something here.I don't recall a time limit or a limit on how much you could take.
At $20 per person, its a worthwhile adventure.

Quarry Website

E-Mail me: tngray@nautiloid.net

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