Information on:

Kimberly - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

32651 Highway 19


Interesting in learning about the history of paleontology in the John Day Fossil Beds? Download The Fossil Frontier. This pdf handout is designed to be printed on legal paper (8.5x14 inches.) It also available at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center.

Fossils may have been the reason that John Day Fossil Beds National Monument was established, but the human story goes back thousands of years and many people call this place home.

Finished in the year 2000, a comprehensive book commissioned by the National Park Service explores the regional history that intersects with the monument. Click the Rocks and Hard Places link below and navigate by chapter to read more on the amazing human stories of the John Day country.


Robert Mutch

Saturday, April 28, 2018
Lots of great geology and paleontology to see. Several different units to visit. The Painted Hills Unit is most well known. They have a great new visitor center for paleontology exhibits. It can be hot and dry during summer. bring water when hiking. Often not very crowded. Go in the fall when cooler. :-)

Jennie Wolf

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Such a beautiful place. It is quite impressive, but underwhelming at the same time. There is one small spot that is shaded if you need to get out of the sun. If you are driving a great distance to get here, I would recommend planning a second thing to do. I spent more time driving than I did here at the location. Luckily I had planned to camp at Smith Rock while I was out in this direction. I am not sure the drive up would have been worth it for this alone.

Leaf Fael

Saturday, May 5, 2018
Kids and Dad enjoyed touring this visitor center. Took about 2 hours for movie, tour and completion of Jr. Ranger packet. Not much shade at center. Dogs must be attended to at all times. Center has great visual aids of archeological records, working research area, screening room, hands on kid opportunities with a kiddo room. Small gift shop. No food here so bring a lunch or grab a bite before you head this way. Free entrance. Nice restrooms.

Average Shmo

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
It's a worthwhile stop if you're passing through. It's located in a less foliated, and sparsely populated part of the state, but has a desert kind of beauty to it. Several areas are next to creeks or rivers. Painted Hills is one of the star attractions and is a great stop because the trails are short. Picture Gorge is beautiful. One stop I'd recommend is the short hike at blue basin. Wheel chair access is somewhat possible for about half of the short trail only. Clean toilets at this stop :) The Condon museum is short and decently put together. Decent flushing toilets at that stop. A helpful staff can answer most questions and point you to the various places you would be curious about.

Alan Marcusen

Thursday, April 26, 2018
Great short hikes with beautiful views all around, with even more spectacular views on the drive. Read everything you can! The geological history here is like none other and totally worth the sunburn!

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