Explore the most popular hiking trails in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

beautiful views. we appreciated the benches for cranky ole knees

Wonderful lil short hike. Not to hard, but not a lot of shade. It was very cool to see all the formations and different colors.
I am living full time in a pop up camper and there were about 4 or 5 pull through spots which was nice too. If you'd like to follow that I have a blog; https://campwithjess.wixsite.com/campwithjess

walking
28 days ago

Super easy hike or more like walk around some of these hills. Beautiful views and the wooden decking around most of that section of hills makes it easy for elderly or wheelchair people to view. Would rate higher if this was more difficult.

Hike is really easy but the view of these hills is amazing. You have to see these with your own eyes at least once. Would rate 5 stars if the hike was an actual hike or more of a challenge.

Fun trail. Short jaunt into a blue canyon. The signage at the trailhead says it takes an hour, but is actually much quicker.

Surely one of the most unique hills I have ever seen. Best view on sunset.

walking
1 month ago

Much more of a walk than a hike— good for families and individuals of any skill level. Really beautiful place

This is not “easy”. I would say it’s moderate at the least. There is an elevation gain of about 800 feet in just over a mile. The trail is narrow with loose rocks at the higher elevations. Not for those afraid of heights. Many times on the descent, the trail looks to drop off the cliff, only to switch back. That all said, it is beautiful and peaceful. Remember sunscreen as the trail is mostly in the sun. There are only a few places of shade to stop and take in the view. Wear good traction shoes. I would not recommend taking small children or pets.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed 4.4 mi in 2.5 hrs with a 15 and 11 yr old, including the through time trail section. 760 feet of elevation in first half of hike up to overlook, dry and open so start early and take plenty of H2O. A few trees to rest under along the way. This trail is a real find, views are fantastic and the hike is eye opening - 50+ million years of Earth history layered in front of you. We had the overlook trail to ourselves except for 2 workers surveying. Only downside is last third of trail some of the view is the road and parking lot. But totally worth it. Stop at the visitors center and chip in a donation and learn about what you just saw. Its a very nice visitors center and educational. Informative workers. Some of the reviews here refer to just the shorter through time trail at the same location, its flat and does have a number of metal bridges but terminates in a BLUE box canyon! You can take this trail leg near the end of the overlook hike to see it all.

Awesome fossils and really gorgeous trail. Definitely do this trail early in the morning or late at night so it's cooler though!

great short trail. Not a good trail for large dogs. There are several (10+) metal bridges that my dog had a hard time walking across due to the plat form. I had to carry him across most up and back, but hes 98 lbs so it was a challenge for us both. very little shade and very hot mid day in summer.

Great hike. I cannot believe how blue the canyon rocks were. Hike was not difficult, but got a little steep in some areas. Incredible views.

hiking
3 months ago

Hardly a hike, but absolutely beautiful.

it was a rather nicely laid out trail for a small hike.

beautiful. I will go back again to see it after a good rain so I can see the water flow.

walking
4 months ago

Short stroll with great views of the layered hills.

walking
4 months ago

This is the extremely photogenic trail with the boardwalk!

walking
4 months ago

Cool red hill. This isn’t the hike with the board walk but worth adding on to the trip.

Nice easy hike even with an unhappy 6 year old. Fossil replicas at some of the reader boards. Rangers with walking history talks at 10 am, only last 1 hour and super informative!!

This is more of a destination for taking in some amazing views than it is a hike. Best to go early as it’s a popular spot and is more enjoyable with fewer people around.

Easy hike with great overlooks. We hiked this in the morning and were glad we did given how exposed you are to the sun for much of the hike. There are some great benches with shade along the way for taking breaks to enjoy the lookouts and cooking off.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail overlooking the basin. The colors were amazing. Kids enjoyed it too :)

hiking
10 months ago

The painted hills are more of a little walk/hike. The landscape is stunning and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Definitely worth the drive! (August 2016)hik

on Leaf Hill Trail

hiking
11 months ago

Short. Information about fossils in the area with some samples.

hiking
11 months ago

Short but beautiful.

on Painted Cove Trail

hiking
11 months ago

Not much of a hike but the geological formations are stunning.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful , easy , and great for everyone!

hiking
Saturday, September 09, 2017

Nice hike with beautiful views of the blue rock canyon. Highly suggest going left on the loop to start to build up to the better parts. We went left and saw some blue rock (not canyon yet) and were already excited. Then we got to the top of the loop and walked out on the overlook spur and were so happy we came that way. You just walk up to the beautiful blue rock canyon. Then we continued the loop taking pictures at many stops. Completing the outer loop we then did the inner canyon trail...which again we were excited we did in this order. A great way to cap it off. Trail was was in good shape and if you do in the late morning you have the light behind you for the canyon shots :)

Friday, September 08, 2017

A great hike for kids and adults

hiking
Saturday, September 02, 2017

A thing of beauty

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