Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

This is my youngest son, Peter Marsters.
Pete loved cowboys, salamanders, snails, fish and insects. He collected & freeze-dried all the bugs for both his older brother and sisters’ 6th grade insect collection, as well as his own, 3 years later.

Pete loved fossils and was stopped by the airport security coming home from our summer vacation in Canada with 20 lbs of trilobites and brachiopods in his packback.

Why did I not know about the Florissant Fossil Beds – only one and a half hours from Denver? Why did I not know of their Junior Paleontologist Program?

The Florissant Fossil Beds are unique because they are one of the world’s richest fossil deposits of delicate insects and finely veined leaves & flowers.

Thirty four million years ago, the Guffey Volcano mixed ash and water, creating huge mud flows called Lahars. The Lahars buried ancient Redwood Trees, petrifying the stumps you see today.
The mud flows damned a stream and Lake Florissant was created. Ash from the volcano, finer than talcum powder settled over the lake. Large sticky mats of algae, attracted to the chemicals in the ash, formed over the lake, trapping insects and leaves. The layers of ash and algae sunk to the bottom of the lake, creating thin layers of shale and fossilizing the delicate insects and leaves .

So if you are lucky enough have a grandchild or small friend interested in volcano guts and fossils, I would highly recommend a visit to the Florissant Fossil Beds.