Thing to Do

Painted Cove Trail

A wooden boardwalk goes between two red claystone hills. Cloudy blue skies are in the background.
Painted Cove Trail

NPS Photo

The Painted Cove Trail is 0.25 mi (0.4 km) roundtrip. The Painted Cove is an amazing color palette of vibrant rocks. A portion of this trail features a level boardwalk to cross over sensitive soils.

Please stay on the designated trail.
10-30 Minutes
Front-Country Hiking
Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Trailhead is located in the Painted Hills Unit. From HWY 26, drive 6 miles in on Burnt Ranch Rd. and make a left-hand turn onto Bear Creek Rd. at the Painted Hills Unit entrance. From the unit entrance, drive 1.8 miles on Bear Creek Rd. and turn right onto the road towards the Painted Cove Trail. Drive 0.3 miles to the Painted Cove Trail parking lot and the trailhead will be on your left-hand side. Large RVs and travel-trailers are not recommended to park in this parking lot because of limited parking space.
Year Round
Time of Day
Any Time
Accessibility Information
The Painted Cove Trail is 0.25 miles around. This dirt trail has an average width of 72.2 inches with a minimum width of 39 inches.

There is a boardwalk at the trailhead that is wheelchair accessible. There are five exposed wooden steps 6 inches high following the boardwalk. There is a bench near the end of the trail loop.

Potential hazards: exposed wooden steps, rocks, muddy after rain and snow, boardwalk slippery after rain and snow


John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Last updated: June 17, 2022