Traffic & Travel Tips

Picture Gorge rock, the road, and the river on a summer day
Highway 26 cuts through Picture Gorge

NPS Photo

Gasoline and Diesel Fuel

During business hours, you are not permitted to pump your own gasoline, but as of 2016, self-serve gas is legal in rural Oregon between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.; however, many of the gas stations in the area do not have pumps capable of self-pay. Thus, it can still be extremely difficult to get fuel after hours. Please note that some gas stations may not be open 7 days per week or may have varying hours. Please visit the local chambers of commerce websites for updated information.

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 Time Between Park 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)

Distances & Driving Time to the Sheep Rock Unit

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 via I-84, US-97, OR-206, and OR-19 - 230 miles (4 hours 30 minutes)
Portland via US-26 - 225 miles (5 hours 30 minutes)
Bend - 122 miles (2 hours 45 minutes)
Prineville - 80 miles (2 hours)
Fossil - 63 miles (1 hour 15 minutes)
John Day - 41 miles (1 hour)
Mitchell - 35 miles (45 minutes)
Long Creek - 50 miles (1 hour 15 minutes)
Burns - 110 miles (2 hours 15 minutes)

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


Scenic Bikeways

Parts of Hwy 26, 19, 207, and 402 are part of Oregon Scenic Bikeways. Watch for bicyclists and share the road as you travel to the 3 units of the park. Find more information about Scenic Bikeways.

Last updated: December 8, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

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