Road Trip: John Day Fossil Beds Country

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, and learned about its stunning history — 55 million…

: Painted Hills by Christian Heeb

Canyon City

Gold rush fever hit Oregon in the 1860s, and Canyon City, just south of John Day, felt the heat.

The remaining riches of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, the Malheur National Forest and the John Day River lure campers, hikers, fishermen and cross-country skiers. Check out a treasure of natural history at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Trip Ideas

  • Journey Through Time Scenic Byway

    The marks of time are stamped across the landscape on this 286-mile/ 460-kilometer route through prehistoric fossil beds, mining boomtowns and surprising sights like the Painted Hills — one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders.
  • Home in the John Day River Territory

    I wish I could say that moving to an isolated rural area in the John Day River Territory a few years ago took a lot of deliberation, but the truth is the decision was an...
  • Kam Wah Chung

    If you know where to look across Oregon's vast high desert landscape, there are powerful human stories found in small, quiet places. This week, we go to a "time capsule" of sorts in Eastern Oregon's...
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