Clarno Unit – John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
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John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a 14,000 acre (57 km²) park near Kimberly, Oregon. Located within the John Day River Basin, this U.S. National Monument is world-renowned for its well-preserved, remarkably complete record of fossil plants and animals, a record that spans more than 40 of the 65 million years of the Cenozoic Era (also known as the Age of Mammals and Flowering Plants).
The monument is divided into three units: Painted Hills (named for the delicately colored stratifications) northwest of Mitchell, Sheep Rock which is northwest of Dayville, and Clarno Unit (pictured above) which is 20 miles west of Fossil. Blue Basin is a volcanic ash bowl transformed into claystone by eons of erosion, colored pastel blue by minerals.
What’s around here? Location & Nearby Things to See & Do
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A related Trip Idea
The first time I saw the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon, I was in a hurry. My group had stopped at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, which acts as the interpretive center for the hills and the rest of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument…