August 4, 2018
On my road trip west, I had the chance to stop and do some days hikes at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I started at the Sheep Rock Unit.
First I hiked the Foree area of the Sheep Rock Unit.
There were two short trails in this area.
There was a great overlook. I could see a researcher down below.
I went clockwise around the loop.
The trail climbed up.
I could see colored hills down below but they weren't the famous painted hills.
On top I could see down into the canyon.
I really enjoyed this trail. It was very unique.
I took the Island in Time Trail into the canyon.
There were interesting examples of fossils along the trail.
The trail ended at a sign.
Next I went to Historic Cant Ranch.
I hiked a trail to the John Day River
John Day River
There was a short trail to a viewpoint of Sheep Rock.
Next I drove to the Painted Hills unit. The Painted Hills are one of Oregon's 7 Wonders.
I hiked the Painted Hills Overlook Trail.
The Painted Hills were very unique.
Next I hiked the Red Scar Knoll Trail.
Then the Leaf Fossil Trail
The Leaf Fossil location was behind a fence without much of a view.
Next I hiked the Painted Cove Trail.
There was a boardwalk right through the hill.
Then I hiked the Carroll Rim Trail.
The trail had great views of the Painted Hills.
From the top there was a great panoramic view.
I drove to John Day for the night. On the way back I stopped at another overlook by the Sheep Rock Unit.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is an interesting area. Most of the trails are quite short, but doing all of them and with drive time, can take up most of a day. It's definitely an area worth checking out. There are also some Wilderness Study Areas nearby that would offer backpacking options nearby.