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Fossil Hunting Around Colorado Springs and the Front Range

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I am originally from Black Forest just north of the Springs, but I've never really gone fossil hunting in the area. I've certainly done my share of hunting in road cuts and public lands as a kid on roadtrips and camping with my family, but that was years ago and I don't remember really where any of those places were (aside from Dotsero; that'd be difficult to forget). Regardless, I'll be heading there late this summer in August to visit family for maybe a week or week and a half. Reading strat columns and geologic maps is no problem; I have a pretty good idea of the rocks that could outcrop on the front range and the Denver-Julesberg Basin. I just don't know where to look exactly for fossils.


Anyone know of some sites on public land in the region to do some hunting? I have plans for some rockhounding in the Pikes Peak Batholith but I'd be thrilled to have a fossil site or two to visit as well. I'd love to find some plant fossils or ammonites/other marine inverts. But I'm not picky about type or age. I'm really just starting to collect, so I'm not after anything in particular. I'm willing to drive a couple hours to somewhere.


Also northern Colorado closer to Fort Collins into southeast Wyoming would be great, if anyone knows of something there. I live in Laramie, so sites near there are welcome, too.

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Look into Baculite Mesa.  Y'oughta also consider joining WIPS...the Western Interior Paleontological Society based out of the DMNS.  They run a bunch  of field trips every summer.  



I've been a member for decades.  I used to go to their monthly meetings every now and then when I (also) lived in Laramie, but now I am in Casper and Denver is just too far away.  

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Thank you for the suggestion! It appears to be privately owned, but the land owners allow some amount of collection for personal use with prior approval? Do you know how one would contact them? If I need permission to collect there, I'd certainly want to contact them well ahead of time to arrange for a visit. There's an email at the end of this blog post. Do you know if that's correct? Sorry to bomb you with a bunch of questions.


I am aware of WIPS, but wasn't sure if joining would be worth it, as they are based in Denver. Going to Denver and back can certainly be a day trip for me, but I don't know if I'd be able to make it to any of their meetings regularly as a full-time student in class nearly all year round. It's been a while since I visited their website though, so I may go back and reconsider. It also appears that WIPS does an annual trip (?) to Baculite Mesa.

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  • 2 months later...

I just moved to Ft. Collins, and I'm looking for some hunting partners around the area.

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