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Petrified Forest Loop and Ponderosa Loop Trails

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Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Petrified Forest Loop and Ponderosa Loop Trails is a 1.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Florissant, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 1.1 miles Elevation Gain: 78 feet Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

historic site

no dogs

Directions from Florissant: Traveling west on Highway 24, you'll come to a junction with State Road 1 in Florissant. Turn left on to 1 and travel 2.5 miles to the road that leads to the Florissant National Monument Visitors Center.

hiking
fee
2 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

If you’re looking for incline and adventure, this isn’t it. However, this is a great, short adventure to see something unique. Trail is well maintained, and easy to follow.

hiking
no shade
16 days ago

Nice easy family trail with petrified tree stumps all along the way. Most of the trail is in an open field with little to no shade, so pack the sunscreen.

hiking
20 days ago

easy hike, get to see many petrified redwood stumps. very easy to follow. the Big Stump is cool to see. neat panels describing the history of the fossil beds along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

As of 3/28 the main parking lot is closed, but auxiliary lots are open. We parked at the Hornbek Homestead lot and walked 3/4 mile down the road to where the 'Hornbek Wildlife Loop' trail intersects the road. Alternatively you can park there and take either route of the Hornbek Wildlife Loop trail instead of walking down the road, but that would add 3.3 miles to your hike (each way). The Petrified Forest Loop itself is very easy. No snow, little mud. Walking on flat ground, no hiking involved. You'll pass three or so rather unremarkable petrified stumps before coming to 'The Big Stump', which is pretty neat. Then near the visitors center you'll find a lot of huge stumps that are covered by protective roofs. Overall, it's something to do if you've run out of other things to see, or if you're extremely interested in this specific type of geology.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
3 months ago

hiking
icy
no shade
snow
4 months ago

My first snowy hike!!! Good intro to hiking in winte!

hiking
4 months ago

hiked this today, 2.08.20. deep snow but packed in areas and doable. nice short trail. wanted to do the longer hikes but snowshoes or skies highly recommended.

hiking
icy
snow
7 months ago

11/9/19 - Really nice easy trail. You start off going through the visitor center, which has ample parking. There is an educational video every 20 minutes and a $10 fee per person to get into the park to hike. The pass lasts 7 days but still a little pricey if you’re just coming for the day. It’s about 1 mile around and you get to see the petrified redwood trees which is cool. The trail had a little bit of snow and ice, but you could easily navigate it with hiking boots.

great trail! The trail had very good markings. Beautiful day in late October.

This is a short one-mile loop that provides nice views of petrified tree stumps, ponderosa pines, and the high chaparral grasslands. Stroller and kid friendly with not a lot of elevation change.

Nice little trail through the Fossil Beds! Beautiful views all around!

hiking
9 months ago

So cool! So many preserved redwood petrified wood stumps! We loved seeing them!

hiking
10 months ago

Very cool little loop to walk! I had no idea there were petrified forests on Colorado! Definitely a unique experience

This was a very neat and easy trail. We were able to see petrified redwood trees as well as some ponderosa trees and various flowers. There was very little incline. It was a quick and easy hike for the kids (4, 8, 10). There was not a lot of shade so remember sunscreen and hats!

Wed May 01 2019

nice trip to get people used to the altitude. easy

nature trips
Sun Apr 21 2019

The petrified stumps were huge! Pretty cool to see. Easy trail.

hiking
Sat Feb 16 2019

Great trail. Lots of really great things to see and nice views.

Mon Oct 01 2018

The petrified stumps were amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it! The trail was great, easy for kids! My 3 year old had a blast!

hiking
Wed Aug 22 2018

Florisant Fossil Beds is one of my favorite national monuments. Who knew Colorado use to have their own Redwood trees? Beautifully preserved along an gorgeous open meadow, the loop displays beautiful wildflowers, small critters, and views across the way up into the mountains. The trail is very easy and there's plenty of informative signs along the way. Be sure to catch a ranger talk to see perfectly encompassed fossils from the ancient lake that once stood here.

hiking
Thu Aug 16 2018

I gave this trail five stars because of the giant petrified Redwood tree stumps, not necessarily for views and terrain. The petrified stumps are awe inspiring. I had no idea there was anything like this here in CO...and I am a native!

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Very easy, great for beginners. Loved the petrified trees and got lots of pretty pictures.

Tue Jul 10 2018

Fascinating!

Wed Jun 13 2018

Interesting hike to see some huge petrified stumps. A nice stroll in the field other than that.

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