Places To Go

For almost 150 years, paleontologists and geologists have been visiting the John Day Basin to study the area’s abundant fossils and surrounding geology. In 1975 the fossil beds became a National Monument to preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years.

John Day Fossil Beds consists of three units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno. All three units of the park display a multitude of fantastic geologic features that are sure to stun visitors from all over the world.
The Clarno Palisades or ancient volcanic mudflows are see in the image.

See Ancient Volcanic Mudflows

At the Clarno Unit, explore the only unit in the park where you'll see fossils (plant leaves and wood) along the trail.

View of the Painted Hills with varying red and gold yellow layers.

Enjoy the Amazing Painted Hills

At the Painted Hills Unit, enjoy the views as you explore ancient Oregon.

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is seen with Picture Gorge Basalt Flows in the background.

The Best Place to See Fossils

At the Sheep Rock Unit, hike, picnic, and visit the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center to discover over 500 fossils on display.

Last updated: December 8, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

Contact Us