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“Beautiful park, 3 great areas to hike”

Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in John Day
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful park, 3 great areas to hike”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

This park is great. It's divided into 3 separate units, which are not close to each other. Each one offers something interesting and unique, with short hikes. We spent one day hiking the 3 short hikes at the Clarno unit. Saw some great fossilized leaves and interesting facts on signs along the hike. Great visitas and interesting rock formations are there. Then we drove about 2 hours to the Sheep Rock unit, where we explored the visitor's center/paleontology center, which had a great exhibit and a short film. There's a short overlook hike with great vistas. There's a ranch that you can see in that same area, and it has some walking paths. We stayed in the town of John Day and drove 2 hours to the Painted Hills unit the next day. That area was by far the most impressive with the beautiful colored clay. This park is worth visiting, especially if you can see all 3 unit, but if you can't, at least see the Painted Hills.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank hernse1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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Helena, Montana
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great hike”
Reviewed May 27, 2014 via mobile

We went to the interpretive center then over to cant ranch. Hard to believe people ranch & still ranch in that area. The Cant's sure lived in a beautiful place & I love that they have kept the original fruit trees & when ready you can pick the fruit. We saw a bull snake on the path from the old house so that was exciting. We did hike in blue basin which I used to do as a kid. Going on a day that is a little cooler is a good decision as the rocks heat up. Beautiful scenery & We took the easier of the two hikes. Very nice a little up hill & very peaceful. This would not be good for dogs.

Thank redredles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briggs, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Total Surprise!”
Reviewed May 1, 2014

On a trip from Alaska back home to Texas, we wandered through Oregon and...in search of a bathroom....stumbled upon the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. What an incredible surprise! We spent hours at the visitor center and in the area. The scenery is breathtaking, the science is engaging, the people were so friendly, and nobody in our group had a clue that this site even existed. The drive is awesome and yes....you need to watch your gas level and take advantage of the gas stations as you find them. On our trip up to Alaska we had intentionally visited another well-known dinosaur monument in Utah only to be disappointed by the changes in that facility. When we stumbled upon John Day, we were thrilled. The lab we used to see at the other site in Utah was up and running at John Day. My kids marked this as a definite spot we must return to and spend more time exploring.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank rodeo01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pendleton, Oregon
1 review
“Scenery and Science combined”
Reviewed April 20, 2014

Stunning scenery. A landscape textbook on geology, paleo-botany, paleontology...and it happened to be spectacular weather as well. Recommend allowing a full day, possibly more since there are limited lodging options close by. Central Oregon displays beautiful topography.

Visited April 2014
Thank Kevin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Interesting but not Worth the Drive”
Reviewed April 15, 2014 via mobile

We drove a good 400 miles from Portland to visit this site and were left disappointed. If you are willing to visit, make sure to fill your gas tank up when you have the chance, there is no gas anywhere near the sites.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank TheBigMuffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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