15 Best Things to Do in Florissant, CO

Florissant, CO
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Florissant is a town in Teller County, Colorado, United States.

You can find it on Highway 24, between Lake George and Divide.

The town’s name came from the French verb “fleurir,” meaning to flourish or blossom.

Florissant’s elevation measures 8,192 feet, while its land area spans 330 acres, comprising only land with no bodies of water.

The best months to visit the town are June, July, and August.

This small yet lovely town features the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Florissant Fossil Quarry.

Here are the best things to do in Florissant, Colorado:

Explore Geologic Formations at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Petrified tree stump at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

If you’re in Florissant, don’t miss out on the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

The layers and rocks in this natural monument contain the world’s most diverse and richest fossil deposits.

Check out its gigantic petrified tree stumps of redwood trees, fossils of plants, and animals such as wasps, fishes, birds, mammals, and more that lived in Colorado during the prehistoric era.

At the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, you can join night sky and star gazing programs with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society volunteers.

Map board at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Gary Reinwald / Shutterstock.com

You and your friends can also hike on the 14-mile trail in this popular destination.

Otherwise, you can do self-guided hikes at the Geologic Trail, Petrified Forest Loop, and the  Ponderosa Loop.

Children will also experience being real-life rangers here at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

They can even get ranger badges!

Trail at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Walk Down Memory Lane at Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum

Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum is at Teller County Rd 1, near the Florissant Post Office.

The Pikes Peak Historical Society manages the museum.

Likewise, this non-profit aims to encourage locals and tourists to preserve the rich history of Florissant and the western slope of Pikes Peak.

Founded in 2005, the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum will educate you about the town’s historical legacy.

Admission is free, and it’s open all year round.

Inside, you’ll marvel at the exhibits of historical and geological artifacts.

You can also find information about the town’s Ute Native Americans and Mountain men inside.

Likewise, you can see unique rocks, fossils, and minerals from the Florissant Lineament.

Two of the highlights of Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum are the 345 & 439-pound smoky quartz crystals in the town.

Aside from that, the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum also has a gift shop that sells books, handmade goods,  beadwork, and other art crafts from the Northern Ute Native Americans.

Spend the Day at Florissant Schoolhouse Museum

The Florissant Schoolhouse Museum is at Teller County Road 31.

You can visit this museum via appointment only.

Inside, you’ll see a vintage collection of school desks from the 1800s and other schoolhouse memorabilia.

It also houses 50 miniature historic buildings made by a famous artist from Colorado, Ken Goehring.

The Rampart Range School District donated the Florissant Schoolhouse Museum to its new manager Pikes Peak Historical Society, in 1992.

Then, the society moved the building to its original location, next to the old schoolhouse.

Built in 1907, the building was once a teacherage for teachers working at the 1887 Florissant schoolhouse.

It was restored to become a museum.

Hunt Real Fossils at Florissant Fossil Quarry

Eocene fossil flower at Florissant Fossil Quarry
Slade Winstone (Sladew), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re dreaming of finding and keeping a natural plant or animal fossil, then Florissant Fossil Quarry is the place for you.

Florissant Fossil Quarry is on the western side of Colorado Springs.

You can spend a couple of hours or even your whole day looking for hidden treasures traced back to the late Eocene epoch, 34 million years ago!

These fossils are the remains of plants and animals trapped in volcanic eruptions during that era.

Some fossils and specimens at the Florissant Fossil Quarry became popular displays in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

The Florissant Fossil Quarry provides your tools and gives safety instructions before you start fossil-hunting.

Enjoy Good Food and Drinks at Iron Tree & Funky Town Brewery

Iron Tree & Funky Town Brewery is a restaurant, brewery, and bakery on Costello Ave.

You’re surely in for a treat as they specialize in New American cuisines with a twist of different flavors worldwide.

The ingredients of the food and drinks here come from local markets.

Besides their mouth-watering dishes, you can also buy fresh bread, cakes, liquors, wines, and kegs especially brewed in-house.

Two graduates from the Culinary Institute of America meticulously make everything in this hidden gem of Florissant.

They also own and operate Iron Tree & Funky Town Brewery.

Reconnect with Nature at Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area

The Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area is a recreation area along Co Rd 96.

Breathe fresh air and enjoy the picturesque view of nature near the dam of the Eleven Mile Reservoir.

This place is perfect for relaxation, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.

Besides these activities, you can pitch a tent at the four campgrounds inside the Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area.

These are the Springer Gulch Campground, Cove Campground,  Spillway Campground, and Riverside Campground.

All of these sites require a reservation before camping.

The Rocky Mountain Recreation operates eleven Mile Canyon Recreation Area.

You can also enjoy outdoor activities here, like sailing, kayaking, biking, birdwatching, and nature photography.

Explore Outdoor Activities at High Trails Outdoor Education Center

The High Trails Outdoor Education Center is a 6,000-acre property on Old Stage Rd with the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument on the northern side.

This center will provide you with challenging yet fun outdoor experiences which will teach you knowledge and understanding of how all living things work together.

High Trails Outdoor Education Cente offers three, four, and five-day programs for 4th to 6th-graders where they will get to explore and study the forests.

It also has an evening program where you can enjoy activities such as Nature Carnival, High Trails Folk Dance in Heisler Hall, and cookouts across the property.

Other exciting activities like hiking, community building, and free play can also be experienced here at High Trails Outdoor Education Center.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Meet Wolves and Foxes at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

A sleeping wolf at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
EvaMarie Tornstrom / Shutterstock.com

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado, is a short 11-minute drive from Florissant.

It’s one of the few sanctuaries verified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

In this wildlife center, you can get an up-close encounter with Mexican Grey Wolves and Swift Foxes, which trained professional staff takes care of.

Swift fox at Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Drew Avery, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Likewise, the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center offers an educational tour about the significance of wolves, foxes, and coyotes to the ecosystem.

School groups, nature enthusiasts, and families are also welcome.

Try Fun Activities at Mueller State Park

Trail lined with trees at Mueller State Park
Mike Blanchard / Shutterstock.com

Mueller State Park in Divide is also in Divide, a 15-minute drive from Florissant.

While it doesn’t have rivers or lakes for water activities, there are still several fun things to do in this state park.

You can explore the endless alpine forest in this 5,000-acre expanse.

There are also 19 trails where you can bike and 132 sites where you can set up a tent.

View from a cliff at Mueller State Park
Richard G Smith / Shutterstock.com

RV sites, tables, and fire pits are available at Mueller State Park.

During winter, you can spend the day cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

It has 17 sites and all three cabins that open during winter.

Check Out the Gold at the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine

Entrance to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
Gary Reinwald / Shutterstock.com

Have you always wondered what the natural state of gold looks like?

If so, visit The Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine in Cripple Creek, Colorado, just a 30-minute drive from Florissant.

This mine will fascinate you with vast information and trivia about geology, mining, and Colorado’s gold rush days.

Underground at Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

This gold mine descends 1,000 feet below the ground, and the tour begins through a 100-story man-skip elevator which will take you below the surface.

You’ll get an up-close look at gold’s and other minerals’ natural state.

Aside from that, you’ll also get the rare chance to ride an underground tram or air locomotive at Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine.

Underground tram at Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine
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Take a Look inside the Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum

Exterior of Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum
Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com

Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum is on Bennett Ave in Cripple Creek, 26 minutes from Florissant.

Look inside the original cells of prisoners who served their sentences inside this jail-turned-museum.

Outlaws & Lawmen Jail Museum is in the original Teller County Jail, which operated from 1901 until 1992.

Signage of Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum
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This museum is open all year round, and you can tour inside independently.

Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum will show how prisoners lived and spent their lives.

Old jail cells in Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum
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See a Performance at the Butte Theater

Exterior of the Butte Theater
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The Butte Theater is also in Cripple Creek, only a 27-minute drive from Florissant.

The local government of Cripple Creek owns the theater on the western side of Bennett Ave, under the management of the Thin Air Theatre Company.

You can see professional and community art performances there throughout the year.

The Butte Theater is also home to the Mountain Repertory Theater, which produces classic melodramas that the people of Cripple Creek have always loved.

This theater started as a beer and concert hall in 1896.

It has become an opera house that shows original productions and holiday favorites.

Admire the Picture-Perfect Scenery at Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

Steam locomotive at Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
Don O'Brien from Piketon, Ohio, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad in Cripple Creek is a quick 27-minute drive from Florissant.

While riding a century-old steam locomotive, you’ll see amazing landscapes.

Train at Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This place is a haven, especially for history buffs, stopping at scenic and essential locations where you can take photos or admire the view.

Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad is also wheelchair-accessible.

Coal-burning locomotive at Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a Quick Hike at Horsethief Falls Trail

Landscape of Horsethief Falls Trail
Sherry Saye / Shutterstock.com

Horsethief Falls trail is also in Divide, a 22-minute drive from Florissant.

Take a 1.4-mile easy hike toward the trail and spot a valley with beaver ponds.

Likewise, pine trees and rock formations surround the Horsethief Falls, making the hike more exciting.

Beaver dam along Horsethief Falls Trail
Sherry Saye / Shutterstock.com

This is one of the go-to places for adventurers who want to experience fall hiking and witness the spectacular view of the Colorado Front Range.

You can also do some nature photography, biking, snowshoeing, and camping at Horsethief Falls Trail.

Revisit Rich History at Cripple Creek District Museum

Midland Terminal Railway Depot at Cripple Creek District Museum
Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cripple Creek District Museum is in Cripple Creek, a 29-minute drive from Florissant.

Go back in time and relive the rich history of Cripple Creek through collections of rare photos, mineral and gold displays, and mining memorabilia.

You can also find mining cabins and Victorian-style living quarters at Cripple Creek District Museum.

The entire Cripple Creek District Museum complex comprises several historic buildings.

Check out the Midland Terminal Railway Depot, Colorado Trading & Transfer, Assay Office, and Two miners’ cabins.

Final Thoughts

The town of Florissant contains many exciting historical destinations.

A trip to this place will surely leave you in awe and wanting more.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Florissant, Colorado!