John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Trails in John Day

Blue Basin Hikes

Blue Basin Hikes - June 7, 27, July 12, 25, August 8, 16, 29, 30, and September 6, at 10:00 am Join a ranger for a two-hour, one-mile walk into the colorful Blue Basin. The hike features the geology and fossil record of the basin. Meet at the Thomas ...

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Blue Basin Overlook Trail

Blue Basin Overlook (3 mile) Strenuous, 600 ft. elevation gain. A strenuous, but rewarding, loop trail brings you to a spectacular vista overlooking the John Day River Valley. It is dusty in places and may be impassable in wet weather. Directions The Visitor Center at the Sheep Rock Unit is located ...

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Cant Ranch Walks

Cant Ranch Walks - June 20, July 12, August 8, 23, and September 6, at 2:00 pm Join a ranger for a one hour program at the historic James Cant Ranch, located in the Sheep Rock Unit. The walk and talk will feature the ranch history and begins on the ...

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Carroll Rim Trail

Carroll Rim Trail [begins from the Painted Hills Overlook, 1 ½ mile hike] ? The trail ascends a few hundred feet in elevation to rimrock that overlooks the entire area, offering a bird?s-eye view of the Painted Hills. A bench to relax and enjoy the view is at the ...

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Clarno Arch Trail

Clarno Arch Trail [1/4 mile hike] ? A moderate climb will bring one to the base of The Palisades cliff directly under a natural arch cut into the cliff by erosion. Petrified logs are visible in the cliff face. Directions The Clarno Unit is located 20 miles west of the town ...

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Clarno Unit Backcountry Hike

Clarno Unit Backcountry Hike - Reservation needed - June 13 Join a ranger for a three-hour hike into the scenic backcountry of the Clarno Unit. The hike begins at 1:00 pm at the picnic area. Water, lunch, sun hat, and sturdy footwear are recommended. Call 541-763-2203 (the Clarno Unit) for ...

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Flood of Fire Trail

Flood of Fire (0.25 mile) Gently ascending. This trail crosses a ridge to a viewpoint overlooking the John Day River Valley and the surrounding basalt cliffs. Directions The Visitor Center at the Sheep Rock Unit is located on Highway 19 between the towns of Dayville and Kimberly, 2 miles from the ...

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Goose Rock Backcountry Hikes

Goose Rock Backcountry Hikes - July 26, and August 2, at 10:00 am Join a ranger for a three-hour hike to explore nature in the scenic backcountry around Goose Rock. Water, sun hat, camera, and sturdy footwear are recommended. Participants should meet at the Sheep Rock Unit, Thomas Condon Paleontology ...

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Hiking At John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Hiking There are several Hiking Trails within the monument. Click on the highlights to the right to get trail guides for each of the units Directions The Visitor Center at the Sheep Rock Unit is located on Highway 19 between the towns of Dayville and Kimberly, 2 miles from the junction of ...

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Island in Time trail

Island in Time (1 mile) Self-guided nature trail. This gently ascending trail leads to an amphitheater carved out of the blue-green John Day Formation. The volcanic ash, now turned to claystone, yields a rich variety of vertebrate fossils. Interpretive signs and fossil replicas are included along the trail. Directions The Visitor ...

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Leaf Hill Trail

Leaf Hill Trail [1/4 mile hike] ? One half of the trail is accessible to those in wheelchairs. This drab looking hill was the scene of important scientific studies in the 1920?s and 1990?s. Thousands of leaf fossils found here helped give us our first glimpse of an ancient ...

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Mascall Formation Overlook Trail

Mascall Formation Overlook one mile south of Picture Gorge off of Route 26, 300? hike Grand views of the John Day Valley and Picture Gorge await one here. Exhibits along a short trail feature both prehistory and human history. Directions The Visitor Center at the Sheep Rock Unit is located on Highway ...

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Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking There are no mountain biking areas within the monument, but there are many designated routes nearby in the Malheur National Forest. The route closet to the John Day Fossil Beds visitor center is the Field's Peak-McClellan Trail. This ride is estimated at 2-4 hours / 13.6 miles one-way ...

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Nature Walks

Nature Walks - August 16 at 2:00 pm, and June 6, 20, 21, July 4, 5, 18, August 9, 22, 23, September 5 at 10:00 am Join a ranger for a 90 minute walk and talk on the natural features and flora and fauna of the park. Tours begin at ...

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Painted Cove Trail

Painted Cove Trail [1/4 mile hike] ? A third of trail is a boardwalk, accessible to those in wheelchairs. Here, one can actually walk among the red and gold claystone hills. Bring your camera! Interpretive signs illuminate the geologic story. Directions The Painted Hills Unit is located 9 miles northwest ...

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