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John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, John Day

(4.8/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is located in John Day. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and many more John Day attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's John Day trip itinerary maker.
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  • It was a last minute decision to visit the Fossil Beds, and we were SO happy we did. As an amateur photographer, I could have spent the entire day looking at the multi-colored hills and hiking the man...  more »
  • I was only able to spend half of a day here, but my wife, daughter, and I had a total blast. We didn't stop inside the visitor center, so I cannot speak for that. However, the hiking was top notch. Th...  more »
  • If the outdoor views don't leave you slack-jawed, the visitor center will. Cool, huge exhibit of paleontology from the region, mostly post-Jurassic periods. Loads of fossils. I've now been to all thre...  more »
  • I really love this national monument. I have been to the Painted Hills Unit a few times - it's a great place to take visitors. The scenery is striking and otherworldly; I can just sit and look at it for hours. Best times to see it are later afternoon, when the light really starts changing and brings out all the rich colors. Typically the expansive sky is partially cloudy and sunny so you really get the depth of the colors and textures - it makes it even more mesmerizing. The Sheep Rock Unit is further on down the road and the rock formations look like the Dakota Badlands or maybe even a Martian landscape. Great colors in this one too. Both units offer easy walking trails that nearly anyone can complete and enjoy. While this isn't one of the better known national monuments, it sure is very beautiful in its unique expanses. Visitor's centers are clean and modern as well, with friendly staff and good information.
  • Wow, is the only thing I can use to describe the view. Absolutely amazing. I went when it was ab it hazy and the view was still incredible. Everyone suggest you go towards sunset and for good reason. The lighting it amazing and you aren't getting beat down by the sun. I've been told the colors pop even more after a good rain which would make sense. PLEASE go check this location out if you haven't gone yet absolutely amazing.
  • We've been to the Sheep Rock and Painted Hills and both are worth checking out. At Sheep Rock, we hiked the Blue Basin overlook trail and could see up close the blue-green cliffs. The mud puddles in the streams were especially brilliant. We also saw some fossils of extinct animals that were dug up, but covered and left in place along the trail. The visitor's center here is also filled with fossils and history of the area. At the Painted Hills, it's much less developed which helps accentuate the vibrant colors in the otherwise bleak landscape. I really liked the Painted Cove trail, which takes you around some multi-colored, cracked mud heaps. It's also a really easy, short hike.
  • So many colors! Whoever thought rock formations could be so beautiful. Easy to get to. Plenty of parking. Nice "oasis" area.
  • Spectacular scenery and fascinating science. The three units are all different and worth visiting. The fossil display at the visitors center, with its unabashed discussion of evolution, was very well thought out and engrossing. Highly recommended.