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“Fantastic”

Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in John Day
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

The visitor center is truly impressive and the location among the painted rocks along the John Day River is beautiful.

Thank wdbrownusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 - 266 of 364 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2013

If you like to see geology in action, these hills include fossils with a museum displaying some of the finds. The rock formations are beautiful with so many colors displayed due the different mineral content.

Thank 4cents-worth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument has three sites, and as these sites are separated by some distance you have to make a decision which one or ones you want to see because it's going to be tough to do all three in one day. We opted for the Sheep Rock Unit and the Painted Hills Unit, about 30 miles or so apart. (Incidentally, we visited these two places from Bend on a day trip and spent about 9 hours in total.)

The Sheep Rock Unit is a good place to start since it has the largest visitors center and the most things to see. The main attraction of this part of the park is the several trails that lead right into the multi-colored hills and ciffs on either side of the John Day valley, from which a good number of the Tertiary mammal fossils were extracted. We opted for the Island in Time trail, which can easily be covered in less than and hour and gives you some really wonderful views of the cliffs. A short drive to the north is the short Flood of Fire trail, which we combined with lunch at the picnic spot there.

The Painted Hills Unit is more immediately pleasing to the eye, with multi-colored, whale-backed hills composed of ash layers. You can actually see everything you need to from the parking lot, but the short Painted Hills Overlook Trail gives you a better perspective of these hills as it takes you closer in.

I would thoroughly recommend visiting any part of the John Day park if you can make it. Incidentally, the drive from Bend offers up some really great roadside views, so getting there is as much fun as being there.

4  Thank OilRover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We could not do much as it rained the whole day. So we spent majority of the time exploring the visitor's center. Beautifully done and worth the visit just to see it.
The park scenery even with the dark clouds is spectacular. One advantage of the heavy rain we encountered was the countless small waterfalls all around. Just magical.
Hopefully we will go back as there are many hiking & exploring options not to mention great town of John Day.

Thank KHL12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

A day trip to John Day offered up some awesome scenery as we drove over the Ochoco divide and towards the John day fossil beds. We stopped at the painted hills unit, and it was great. a few nice trails here, and interesting coloration to the hills... We continued towards John Day, and entered the visitors center with a great view of sheeps head hill. A nice lesson on the fossil beds, ages of the formation, and more chances for hikes. Arrived in John Day, and we were greeted with the ominous Strawberry mountain. Some great hikes awaited us!

2  Thank perkinmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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