Plan Your Visit

A woman holds up a paper map of Oregon to orient her location.
Since it is difficult to visit all three units in one day, it is best to plan out a route and overnight accommodations ahead of your trip. Visit our Maps page for more information.

NPS Photo

One Park, Three Units

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument consists of three units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno. These three locations are dispersed through east-central Oregon. Because of the winding roads, visiting all three units is difficult to do in a single day, but is possible with an early start. The amount of time available and the route of travel taken are often the determining factors on which units you're able to visit.

Distances & Drive Time Between Units

Sheep Rock to Painted Hills - 45 miles (1 hour)
Painted Hills Unit to Clarno Unit - 75 miles (1.5 hours)
Clarno Unit to Sheep Rock Unit - 81 miles (2 hours)
Clarno is the best place to see fossils in situ.

Clarno Unit

The Clarno Unit is home to the oldest exposed layers of the John Day Fossil Beds, and the only place in the monument to see "wild" fossils.

Painted Hills Unit

Painted Hills Unit

The colors of the Painted Hills makes this one of the most popular destinations in the park.

Sheep Rock Unit

Sheep Rock Unit

Home to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and the Cant Ranch Museum, the Sheep Rock Unit also has many trails and scenic views.

Last updated: December 15, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

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