John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, John Day

#26 of 257 in Nature in Oregon
A visit to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is like taking a journey into ancient Oregon. Whether you tour the museum at Sheep Rock, hike a trail at the Painted Hills, or picnic at Clarno, Oregon's exciting past will be revealed.
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John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Reviews
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425 reviews
  • Wish we could have spent more time here. The visitor center in the sheep rock unit is a must do. That is where the actual fossils, dioramas, etc. are. We went in a couple short hikes in the Claro unit...  more »
  • We stopped at John Day on two separate days on our road trip and it was worth it. Keep in mind that the John Day Fossil Beds are actually made up of 3 different locations and there is some distance be...  more »
  • The John Day Fossil Beds, Mascall Overlook is a great little walk and spectacular view. The convergence of geology from continental drift, basalt flows and early ash accumulations is amazing. The kiosks are informative and the trail is short, very wheelchair accessible (as is the parking lot), and there are bathrooms. If you're approaching from the west, you'll get the chance to drive through Picture Gorge, a worthwhile drive through a fracture in ancient basalt flows through which the John Day river flows. Excellent day trip. A stop in Mitchell for fuel, supplies at the grocery store, and a delightful meal at the pub pr cafes in town make this a terrific trip for photography, families, or just a quick getaway.
  • This time I visited the Painted Hills overlook. There are a few hiking trails in the area, some short and easy to do. The colors of the hills under the direct sunlight can be impressively bright. It's a very peaceful place. Enjoy slowly, let the different tones and hues soak in. And, above all, leave no trace!

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