Looking for a great trail in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, dogs leash trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 5 easy trails in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument ranging from 0.6 to 1.2 miles and from 1,912 to 2,404 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

dogs on leash

views

nature trips

walking

bird watching

kid friendly

Active Science & Spectacular Scenery Colorful rock formations at John Day Fossil Beds preserve a world class record of plant and animal evolution, changing climate, and past ecosystems that span over 40 million years. Exhibits and a working lab at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center as well as scenic drives and hikes at all three units allow visitors to explore the prehistoric past of Oregon and see science in action. Thomas Condon Paleontology Center (Sheep Rock unit) Daily hours: Through May 22, 2014: 10am - 5pm Friday, May 23rd - Saturday August 16: 9am - 5pm August 17, 2014 to May, 2015: 10am - 5pm There are no anticipated closure dates for the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center through the winter season other than Federal holidays from Veteran's Day in November through Presidents Day in February, and December 24th and 31st. Cant Ranch House (Sheep Rock unit) Winter/Spring hours are 9am - 4pm, Monday - Thursday. It is open some Fridays when staff is available. It is closed on weekends. The Cant House may have to close without notice if there are not enough staff available. It will be closed on Federal Holidays from Veteran's Day in November through Presidents Day in February, as well as December 24th and 31st. Summer hours remain 9am - 4pm Monday - Thursday and open most Fridays. The Cant House museum is also anticipated to be open 10am - 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays Memorial Day weekend - August 15, 2014.

stunning! This hike is great, steep uphill, but is made worth it for the views.

Nice trail, overlooking the painted hills, other trails which go closer are nicer though imho

Lots of great views at the top, make sure to bring a hat.

Easy walk but go early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the scorching sun.

Beautiful view.

Beautiful area and love the painted hills! Can’t wait to go back.

We were going for the longer loop but the 103 degrees caused us to hike this trail and glad we did. When you get to the island after a short uphill hike the view and geology is amazing.

It’s pretty exposed, bring water. I went right. Did the short trail and back out to the turn and around. I recommend going this way because the view seems to be in front of you. The greenish color was pretty obvious in the morning sun, but looks kinda brown in my pictures. It’s steep but reasonable distance.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a very gentle trail with some close views of the hills. The flowers were in bloom and it was beautiful at sunrise. If you’re hiking the area start here for a nice easy warm up

hiking
3 months ago

Good view of the hills but there was a lot of people

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

The colors here were amazing! Yes, it’s a super short hike, but I don’t think that is a drawback. Love the interpretive signage, and being able to see the texture of the otherworldly hills up close! Please stay on the path, and keep your dogs on the path too. There were so many footprints off the trail, and those damage the area for a long time. And LOTS of mosquitoes in early June!

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Probably the best on-trail views of the Painted Hills as a whole area. Love the benches, and the different perspectives that the trail offers!

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

I know many people who think this area doesn’t live up to the hype, but if you’re a geology and a photography nerd like I am, I think you will be very pleased with the Painted Hills! This trail, though short, has some really cool photography opportunities and when the sun lights up the big red hill, it’s incredible! Really big heavy the last time I did it though, bring your bug spray and keep your car doors shut. We had probably around 200 mosquitoes trying to get through the car’s rear windshield in early June!

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Planet like-very cool!

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

love it

love it

Absolutely beautiful

Hiked trail on 6/7/2019. Great views. Caution if you are hiking when it rains because the trail can become slick! Trail appears to try out clickly.

Absolutely loved this hike, the views were amazing it was so worth the 4 hour drive we had... this was just 1 hike within the area... we will definitely go back and check out the area, so much more to see...

hiking
no shade
private property
4 months ago

We went to the right on this trail- it’s off of the Island in Time trail. Beautiful views throughout this moderate hike. I would not say it is kid friendly- it’s a narrow trail with some sharp drop offs. There are a few trees to provide shade along the way. Part of the trail is on private property. Highly recommend this trail in addition to the Island in Time trail to get above and below perspectives of this magical place!

This place is unlike anywhere I have ever been- it was like stepping onto a set of the original Star Trek. The end of this hike is unforgettable and hard to capture on film. Bridges are not meant for dog paws so plan on carrying your dog or leaving them at home. There was a bee swarm a feet off the trail when we went, but I don’t think this is a daily event. Got to see many types of wildflowers.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail, there is no bad view. Take some time at the mid point to enjoy the bench and overlook of the whole basin.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

I did this while on vacation. My suggestion is to start the trail to the right when you park. It will go steeply for a while with switchbacks. You'll be pretty tired by the time you reach the Overlook but the return trip down is so much easier on the knees and has a lot more traction than coming down the other side. It is wonderful to see such a shift in geography while doing this short, but moderate hike. Go when there is a cloudy day so it won't be so shocking when you realize there is only one shady tree on the trail.

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