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“Reminds me of New Mexico”

Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in John Day
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE museum and surrounding mountains. A real education...everyone must see, learn and experience! Paleontologists, archeologists, geologists work on site.

Date of experience: August 2012
1  Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 46 reviews
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"gravel road"
in 6 reviews
"picnic area"
in 7 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 11 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 10 reviews
"high desert"
in 5 reviews
"take your time"
in 8 reviews
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317 - 321 of 404 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2012

We planned this stop as a "leg stretch" between two destinations and were not disappointed. We really only saw the painted hills section, but that was so worth the stop. We arrived at 8:30 on a Sunday morning in October, so the shadows started long and there was a crispness to the air. We had the place to ourselves and that is a magical experience. We could just drink in the colors and enjoy the changing light.
Each trail was very short, so I didn't really consider them "hikes." (When you can still see the car, it's short.) The boardwalk around one of the hills is wheelchair accessible.But each packed a punch in terms of the view and the uniqueness of the trail.
There are several trailheads. Don't just look at the first one and be done. Go to all of them. Even though I thought "leaf hill" was a dud, it only took 10 minutes to find that out and I wouldn't want to miss anything fabulous just because I couldn't see it from the car.

Date of experience: October 2012
Thank OSUGrad84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We drove from Bend to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument , a pleasant scenic route. Sheep Rock peak stands out above the visitor center. The Thomas Condon Visitor center should be the first stop. There is an amazing display of some of the fossils found here with great displays explaining the finds. You can watch a paleontologist working on a fossil through a large window. We didn't have a lot of time to spend here this trip because we drove from Bend and it was beginning to snow, we will come back and spent at least 2-3 days here as there are 3 sites to visit and many hiking trails. And beautiful surroundings. This is a must see for anyone interested in geology or natural history. There is no charge to visit the center. It is near Dayville, Oregon, at the intersection of Hwy's 26&19 . Collecting rocks, fossils, plants or animals, in the park is prohibited.

Thank Bakeries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Great place to stop and stretch the legs. Lots to see. The scenery is beautiful. Watching the staff actually working on exposing fossils from the rock is amazing.

Date of experience: September 2012
Thank Chuck F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2012

This desert area has a fasinating history! Fossils abound. Must go to the Visitor's center for maps and info. Can be very hot in the summer, but lots to see from the car.

Date of experience: October 2012
Thank Patti C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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