If you love interesting scenery and geology, don't miss the John Day National Monument. There are three separate "units", all of which have their merits for a visit. I found the Sheep Rock unit the most interesting. There's a good museum that tells the story and shows the remains of the ancient flora and fauna of the area. Not far from the museum you can take a short hike to the Blue Basin. Wow! I have never seen such interesting terrain in my life. It was like I'd stepped onto another planet!
The Painted Hills unit is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes I've ever seen. It is as if the hills have been air-brushed with layers of colors.
The last unit, called Clarno, is also worth a stop for a short hike past rugged pillars of rock and to see a few leaf fossils in their original location.
It can be very hot here in the summer months, and there are rattlesnakes in some areas, so parents, keep close watch on your children!
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