Wildfire shuts down Hwy. 26 between Prineville and Mitchell, OR - Updated Friday, July 18, 2014
Hwy 26 remains closed between mileposts 35 - 56 in the Ochoco Mtns, 18 miles west of Mitchell due to the Bailey Butte Fire. Air quality in the area is poor. Click the More link for fire and road information for all three units of the monument. More »
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?
Fossils from the Clarno Unit show that 44 million years ago, in what is now a near desert in Oregon, crocodiles and palm trees flourished.