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Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in John Day
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 15 June 2014

2 hours from Bend are the Painted Hills. This is a must-do day trip. Such beautiful scenery, we thought we had landed on another planted. There are restrooms here and a small picnic area. There are about 4-5 trails in the painted hills area that are short but picturesque. Don't miss this Oregon wonder!

4  Thank dshendri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 June 2014

Just shoot for the two "units," but be sure to get to the Visitor Center in time for the 20-minute movie (on half and hour) and the exhibit. Allow at least an hour. There are three hiking options at the Center, each about 1/2 mile. Blue Basin just a few miles further up the highway. I didn't do the 700' elevation gain, but did do the 1/2 mile option. It was hot, even though only mid-80s. You can get through the Painted Hills walks and viewing, within an hour to hour-half, even doing all the short hikes. It was a great day. I spent the night in Prineville (came from Bend), and visited Painted Hills, then Sheep Rock. You can easily do both in 1 day. John Day is at least 100 miles away. Spent the second night in John Day.

4  Thank Winequine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Three distinct parts that really take more than a day to totally see. Sheep Rock Unit, Painted Hills Unit and Clarno Unit. All very different. I liked the first two parts best. The visitor center with nice fossils is at the Sheep Rock Unit. Be sure to take the Blue Basin hike. It's cool. The Painted Hills are really cool looking! Look up the details before you go http://www.nps.gov/joda/index.htm and make reservations if you want to hotel it. Not a lot around and it is busy in summer.

2  Thank OutdoorBoomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Visited here for the first time in mid May while touring through Eastern Oregon. When researching places to see for my road trip, I knew we had to visit here after reading about how interesting and beautiful the monument is. When visiting this park, it is hard to believe at times that you are actually in Oregon, as this is not the typical Oregon scenery one thinks about. The park has three units which are not that close to each other. We spent approximately two days visiting the Sheep Rock Unit, Visitor Center and Painted Hills. The Visitor Center (which is located in the Sheep Rock Unit) is in a beautiful building and has some very interesting exhibits including fossil and skeletal remains of animals and plants. There is also a film that can be viewed. We visited the historic Cant Ranch which is nearby to the Visitor Center. The ranch has a home and very large barn which can be toured. In addition, there are tables for picnics and you can walk to the John Day River from here. There are several hikes which can be enjoyed in the Sheep Rock Unit. We did the Island in Time Trail in the Blue Basin which was a little less than a mile and a half round trip. The trail takes you through a beautiful canyon of blue green rock. We did this trail in the early evening when the shadows were really nice on the cliff walls. There is a longer Blue Basin trail that is a 3.25 mile loop and provides an overlook of the canyon and valley below. The other two trails that we walked in the Sheep Unit were the Story in Stone Trail and the Flood of Fire Trail, both 1/2 mile round trip, with colorful rock formations and views of the valley below. The most beautiful part of the monument and not to be missed is the Painted Hills Unit. The colors of the hills here are rather unbelievable. There are five trails that can be walked here as well and we took the Red Scar Knoll Trail (1/2 mile round trip), the Painted Hills Overlook (1/2 mile round trip) and the Painted Cove Trail (1/4 mile round trip). I was particularly amazed by the painted cove trail as the boardwalk circles through hills of red. The overlook trail is also stunning with wonderful views of the painted hills in reds, yellows, pinks and blacks. When we visited, there were also wildflowers on the hills. This monument is not to be missed. It appears to not be highly visited and a few times we had the trails to ourselves. There is no cost to enter the monument. Be sure to make this part of your travel plans!

4  Thank MSWMom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Loved this place. Outstanding historical significance... and it's in Oregon! Makes me love this area even more.

1  Thank Gypsyd0c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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