• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon

Traffic & Travel Tips

Map of local area.

Gasoline

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 in the evening or at night in the communities surrounding the monument. Fill up with gasoline before leaving major roads or communities if you will be traveling late.

The fuel station in Mitchell is for cardlock holders only. For all practical purposes, for most visitors, there is no fuel available on Highway 26 between Prineville and Dayville at any time of day. It is inadvisable to travel this stretch of road with under half a tank of fuel.

Distances

Driving distances from Oregon cities to the Sheep Rock Unit including the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and museum, plus estimated travel times, are found below. Due to winding roads, travel times vary from those given by most mapping programs and GPS units.

  • Portland - 240 mi. (4 hours 30 minutes)
  • Bend - 122 mi. (2 hours 45 minutes)
  • Prineville - 80 mi. (2 hours)
  • Fossil - 63 mi. (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • John Day - 41 mi. (1 hour)
  • Mitchell - 35mi. (45 minutes)
  • Long Creek - 50 mi. (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Burns - 110 mi. (2 hours 15 minutes)

Driving distances between units:

  • Sheep Rock to Painted Hills - 45 mi. (1 hour)
  • Painted Hills Unit to Clarno Unit - 75 mi. (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Clarno Unit to Sheep Rock Unit - 81 mi. (2 hours)

Road Conditions

Oregon
(800) 977-6368


Washington
(800) 695-7623


Idaho
(888) 432-7623


California
(800) 427-7623


Nevada
(877) 687-6237


Montana
(800) 226-7623

Did You Know?

Image of a running rhino from the clarno formation

Some of the earliest rhino fossils in the world were found in the John Day beds. We call these the "running rhinos".