• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon

Things To Know Before You Come


There is no cell phone service within the monument. Most of our local communities do have cell coverage, depending on your carrier. Mitchell has no cellular service, but there is still a functioning pay phone across the road from the general store.


Oregon is a full-service only state, meaning that you are not permitted to pump your own gasoline. Due to this requirement, it can be difficult to impossible to buy gasoline after 6pm or before 8am in the communities surrounding the monument. Fill up with gasoline before leaving major roads or communities if you will be traveling late.

There is a fleet (business-use only) fuel station in Mitchell. There is also a retail pump at that site and it is open intermittently. Otherwise, the only fuel available during the day on Highway 26 near the monument is at Prineville, Dayville, Mt. Vernon, and John Day, so plan your gas stops carefully.

Travel Time

Due to winding roads, actual travel times are longer than those estimated by most mapping programs and GPS units. Visitors should not expect to average more than 45 miles per hour anywhere in the region. The road to the Clarno Unit (Highway 218) is particularly curvy, and visitors should not expect to cover more than 35 miles per hour on it.

Did You Know?

Park ranger in the field

Paleobotanical field work helps scientists at the John Day Fossil Beds learn about ancient climates.