National Parks / Natural World

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Kimberley

Where is it at?

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John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
32651 Highway 19
Kimberley
OR
97848
Tel: (541) 987-2333

Directions

The Visitor Center at the Sheep Rock Unit is located on Highway 19 between the towns of Dayville and Kimberly, 2 miles from the junction of Highway 26 and Highway 19. The Painted Hills Unit is located 9 miles northwest of of the town of Mitchell, just off Highway 26. There is no visitor center at this unit. The Clarno Unit is located 20 miles west of the town of Fossil. along Highway 218. There is no visitor center at this unit.

Where are we going today?

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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What people are saying?

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    Breathtaking scenery! I can't imagine a place more spectacular that's not beneath a warm ocean somewhere. This is a must see area if you can possibly get to it. You'll feel like you've gone to Mars. We visited all three units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills and Clarno. Each one is spectacular and very different. We highly recommend the Painted Hills Vacation Rentals in Mitchell, only a few miles from the Painted Hills Unit.

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    An amazing place, only nature can make such a beautiful canvas, me as a norwegian to experience this nature..Thanks to Ron who showed me this magnificent scenery..
    Take good care of it, loved this place in Ct. Oregon

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    This is an out of the way location, but well worth it. Take the guided ranger tour of the short walking trail if possible. We went to the headquarters and exhibits at the Sheep Rock area. It is a somewhat similar to the set up at the La Brea tar pits exhibits in LA- there are murals of the various animals of the fossil eras, fossils, a lab, and a nearby walking trail to see some of the fossil strata, etc. However, John Day Fossil beds cover a huge amount of geologic time and much more diverse selection of ancient animals and plants. This is a go...Read More

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    Spectacular!

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    Gewitter ├╝ber den Painted Hills. Wahnsinns Stimmung!

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by Connie Beck

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This is an out of the way location, but well worth it. Take the guided ranger tour of the short walking trail if possible. We went to the headquarters and exhibits at the Sheep Rock area. It is a somewhat similar to the set up at the La Brea tar pits exhibits in LA- there are murals of the various animals of the fossil eras, fossils, a lab, and a nearby walking trail to see some of the fossil strata, etc. However, John Day Fossil beds cover a huge amount of geologic time and much more diverse selection of ancient animals and plants. This is a go to place if your kids are interested in ancient mammals.

We also toured the Cant Ranch House Museum and picnic'd on the grounds there. You should bring your own food for a day trip here, there not a lot of services in the area. We wanted to see the Kum Wah Chung building and museum in John Day also, but didn't make it before closing time. The distances are long in Eastern Oregon though scenery is good. You can spend more than a day just in the Fossil Monument in this area.

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