Painted Hills

Painted Hills, Prineville: Address, Phone Number, Painted Hills Reviews: 4.5/5

Painted Hills
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Geologic Formations • Scenic Walking Areas
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Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
1 within 6 miles
Popular mentions

4.5
122 reviews
Excellent
96
Very good
21
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
0

William S
Kobe, Japan1,132 contributions
Gorgeous!
Sep 2021 • Couples
Worth the drive if you are anywhere in the area. Beautiful hills with colorful striations. There are a few places to stop with toilets, benches and picnic tables. Also available is a series of hikes/walks through the hills. It was a bit smokey when we were there which diminished it a little. The late afternoon light makes for better viewing. We loved it!
Written September 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

OregonMomoffive
Oregon60 contributions
An unexpected surprise!
Jul 2021
This was our first time to the Painted Hills, even though we have lived in Oregon for 40 years! I was blown away by how beautiful it was. So fascinating to see and learn more about. We will return and bring family with us!
Written July 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Greg P
Florida791 contributions
Need to visit and enjoy the park.
May 2021
This is a must-see and to revisit. It is beautiful and full of wonder to walk around and sit and enjoy these surroundings'. Wear comfortable shoes and bring some water and take the time to do some walking. Breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. One should not miss this opportunity to experience these rugged and endless views.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dothove
67 contributions
Beautiful rock formations - worth seeing!
Apr 2021
Very much worth seeing - they are spectacular! Numerous trails you can take and lots of photo opportunities. The rock colors are beautiful! Go early - we got there around 9 am, before the crowds start coming. There is a little picnic area and restrooms by the John Day River where you can enjoy a packed lunch.

We stayed in Fossil, OR so it took us a couple hours to drive there. We drove highway 19 to highway 26 and loved all the different rock formations along highway 19 as well.
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Daina Shutte
6 contributions
One of Oregon’s 7 natural wonders and must see!!
Jun 2021
We have lived in Portland, Oregon, for 30 years, and can’t believe that we have not visited the Painted Hills before, until this past weekend. We spent 2 nights at the Oregon Hotel in Mitchell, Oregon, closest town, and spent a full day Saturday, and Sunday morning at the Painted Hills area. It is not a large area, as there are 4 major places to stop and hike around. All relatively short, except the Carroll Rim hike up about 3/4 mile up 400 feet elevation. We were stunned by the absolutely beautiful natural colorings, on the hills, that would change colors in front of our eyes, with the passing clouds and sun. We took so many beautiful photos. We can’t recommend this place highly enough!!
Written June 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kathy T
Gresham, OR45 contributions
Why did it take me so long to visit the Painted Hills of Oregon?
Oct 2020
Breathtakingly beautiful vistas and rugged terrain, with endless views and fantastic history. My husband and I were shocked at every turn by the beauty. We can't wait to return.
Written June 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane P
Portland, OR588 contributions
Nice getaway from Redmond
Oct 2020 • Friends
First manage expectations. This is not a large area filled with many hills with vibrant colors. The main area has the hills shown in the picture here. Beautiful but a lot of people expect miles of beautifully “painted hills” and it’s just this area. The short (1/2 mile) Painted Hills Overlook Trail is a short hike with plenty of good photo opportunities. There is another area that’s a drive away from the hills (Painted Cove Trail) that has vibrant colors but it’s very short (1/2 mile). We also did the 1.6 mile round trip Carroll Rim Trail. It’s a good hike - do it for the workout. The view of the hills from the overlook trail is better. If you are staying in Redmond this is a good day trip.
Written October 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PandaHouston
Houston, TX6,193 contributions
Beautiful Colors of Painted Hills
Sep 2020
After visiting the Sheep Rock Unit, we drove 50 minutes to Painted Hills. We did this during our road trip as we made our way from Boise to Bend on Wednesday 9/9.

Neither area required any fees which was nice.

At Painted Hills, we did several trails:

Carroll Rim - this was the longest at 1.6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 374 feet. It took us around an hour. It gives you views from above but really isn't necessary if you are not up to it because it can get hot and there is no shade.

Painted Hills Overlook Trail - 1 mile round trip. This was easy and took around 20 minutes. This trail gives you the best photos of Painted Hills. Note that the colors will change depending on the time of day.

Painted Cove Trail - .25 miles round trip and on easy board walk. You can see the red hills here. This trail took around 10 minutes.

Leaf Hill Trail - .5 miles round trip. This trail was not very interesting. You can give it a pass.

The last one which we did not do was Red Star Knoll Trail. This is a short .5 mile round trip trail as well.

The roads in Painted Hills are not paved. It is a dirt gravelly road. In total, we spent around 2 hours here and I really enjoyed our time here. The crowds were not too bad when we visited on a Wednesday.
Written September 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brittany_11_10
Los Angeles, CA1,483 contributions
Nature's canvas
Aug 2020
The Painted Hills Unit is one of three units that comprise the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. You do not need to go to the visitor center before seeing the Painted Hills Unit (though the visitor center is worth, ahem, visiting), and the three units are free to see.

While beautiful and interesting, the Painted Hills Unit was way more crowded than we were expecting it to be (granted, we went on a Sunday in August, but it seemed pretty remote, and we thought more random/less known than a lot of other national monuments), and that did tinge our experience somewhat. However, I'm still rating it a five b/c it would've been awesome had there been no crowds (and yes, I feel strange even writing "crowds" in a review about a national monument I hadn't even known about until, like, one day before going to it).

The cool thing is that there are different hills to see (so be sure to drive around the whole area) and various trails from which to view the hills, so you can kind of get away from some people, some of the time.

In short: the painted hills are cool, but do yourself a favor and go during the week and/or early in the morning and/or not in the summer.

Also, people, PLEASE DON'T WALK ON THE HILLS. I know that writing it here will have absolutely zero effect on anything, but for the love, try to preserve the very thing you're going to see, and no doubt take pictures of that you'll surely post on FB and IG and who knows where else. Why it's so hard for people to just observe something w/o ruining it in some way is beyond me, but seriously, just be respectful for, like, an hour of your life; it's really not that hard.
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

davidsQ4313NU
Gervais, OR7 contributions
A must see
Jul 2020
We have never seen anything this pretty in the whole state. We have been to Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Arches , but this is just as pretty even though it is a small area.
Written July 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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