Painted Hills
Painted Hills
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksGeologic FormationsScenic Walking Areas
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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4.5
131 reviews
Excellent
103
Very good
23
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Previa1994
Chicago, IL6,368 contributions
Jun 2022
I visited the Painted Hills near Prineville on a fine afternoon in June and enjoyed the fabulous views.  It appears this Unit is the most popular of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and I agree with that view.  The colorful stripes and ripples on the mounds and mountains of Painted Hills can be enjoyed just from the overlooks, though there are a few trails if one wants to spend more time.  The Carroll Rim trail is the longest with some steep sections; but the view from the top of the rim is gorgeous.  The main parking in the Unit has a wonderful picnic spot and when I was there in June the area was chirping with all kinds of birds.  The Painted Hills is very beautiful with striking colors of geology.
Written December 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mynameisD
Portland, OR977 contributions
Mar 2022
I have always heard many people speak of the painted hills and now I am so very glad that I went to explore it for myself. This is truly a beautiful area full of wonder.
There are plenty of trails to walk, it is dog friendly (on a leash of course) great for staying and enjoying your lunch with a view. As the views are tremendous.
This is worth a day of exploring. I am so glad I did.
Written March 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dothove
68 contributions
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabrielle R
490 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
A really beautiful place, well worth the drive. You can see much from your car without any walking, enjoy a couple of short strolls, or do bigger hikes, allow some time to soak it all in. Prepare well for gas, food, and bathrooms as services in the area are very limited.
Written November 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Skwiki
Burnaby, Canada1,671 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
It had been over a decade since my last visit. This time I was alone and decided to not rush and take every trail and simply absorb the unique beauty of the hills. For me it is one of the prettiest spots I have ever seen. I had perfect weather, highs in the mid 90's.
The highlight on this trip was doing the Carroll Rim Trail. Five months after major surgery, it gave me the confidence that I was finally recovering. A swallowtail greeted me at the top and fluttered around me for a few minutes. The views were amazing!
This is a wilderness area so make sure you have enough food, drinks, gas. Take your time and enjoy! I spent four hours, but most of the park can probably be done in 1 to 2 hours.
Written January 30, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg P
Florida803 contributions
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Survivormom4
Friday Harbor, WA156 contributions
May 2020
Wow.....I never knew about Painted Hills. What an amazing site to see. It is hard to take it all in and you don't want to leave. How lucky we are to be able to see mother nature like this. The drive from Prineville was wonderful and then to see the Painted Hills too. Amazing! If you haven't been here put it on your bucket list. The drive North through the beautiful trees and pop out just on the Washington / Oregon border. What a beautiful drive and experience. You will remember this area forever. It is that beautiful.
Written May 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

steve
Albany, OR4 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
It was shocking, driving around a corner and seeing the first painted hill. There is nothing like it! There were walkways, benches and signs with explanations of why this happened. (There we’re also footprints made by idiots who figured they were entitled to disregard pleas to stay off). It was an incredible experience and worth the drive.
Written September 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vic C
Victoria, Canada137 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This place was more than I expected it to be, really cool place. Depending on your route it might be a bit out of the way but definitely worth it. Just make sure you have enough gas in your tank as there’s not much around lol
Written June 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OregonMomoffive
Salem, OR80 contributions
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Painted Hills - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)