The Palisades Trailhead is located ¼ mile west of the picnic area along Highway 218. The Trail of Fossils and the Clarno Arch Trail start at the trailhead. There is limited parking at this area. The Geologic Time Trail connects the trailhead with the picnic area, where additional parking is available.
Trail of Fossils (¼ mile loop) This is the only trail in the park where visitors can readily see fossils in the rocks. Large boulders strewn below the Palisades contain dozens of visible plant fossils from the near-tropical forest that blanketed the region 44 million years ago.
Clarno Arch Trail (¼ mile round trip) A moderate climb brings visitors directly under a natural arch cut into the cliff by erosion. Petrified logs are visible in the cliff face.
Geologic Time Trail (¼ mile each way) This trail connects the picnic area and trailhead. Signs along the way note events of the last 50 million years. Each foot of trail represents 37,000 years.
Did You Know?
The wildflowers at the Painted Hills provide abundant sources of food for the monument's many butterfly species.