Trip Planner:   USA  /  Oregon  /  John Day  /  Nature  /  John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, John Day

(320+ reviews on the web)
National Park Nature / Park
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in Wheeler and Grant counties in east-central Oregon. Located within the John Day River basin and managed by the National Park Service, the park is known for its well-preserved layers of fossil plants and mammals that lived in the region between the late Eocene, about 45 million years ago, and the late Miocene, about 5 million years ago. The monument consists of three geographically separate units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno.The units cover a total of 13,944acre of semi-desert shrublands, riparian zones, and colorful badlands. About 210,000 people frequented the park in 2016 to engage in outdoor recreation or to visit the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center or the James Cant Ranch Historic District.Before the arrival of Euro-Americans in the 19th century, the John Day basin was frequented by Sahaptin people who hunted, fished, and gathered roots and berries in the region. After road-building made the valley more accessible, settlers established farms, ranches, and a few small towns along the river and its tributaries. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the fossils in the region since 1864, when Thomas Condon, a missionary and amateur geologist, recognized their importance and made them known globally. Parts of the basin became a National Monument in 1975.
To visit John Day Fossil Beds National Monument on your holiday in John Day, and find out what else John Day has to offer, use our John Day vacation route planner.
Source
map
Create a full John Day itinerary

Plan your trip to John Day

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in John Day by other users

12 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Redmond & John Day BY A USER FROM CANADA September, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in John Day BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in John Day BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Oregon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in John Day BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We had not heard about this site but noted it on our map while traveling through Oregon. A great discovery for us; fascinating place to visit. The walks from various parking lots were interesting and ...  more »
  • Wonderful visit to the Monument . Has a good museum and fossils on display, Enjoy in the spring of the year when the wild flowers in bloom. Take the time to explore.  more »
  • What a nice surprise to discover that a new visitor center had replaced the small confines of the historic house that once housed all the artifacts. The new facility has a wonderful display of exhibit...  more »