John Day Fossil Beds National Monument


I can’t believe that I have lived in Oregon for a majority of my life, and never been to the John Day Fossil Beds! In October, we had the opportunity to stop by on our way home from a quick trip to Idaho.

It was so cool! The kids loved the museum (FREE!) filled with fossils and things to explore and look at.  They even have a dedicated Junior Ranger room! We didn’t see any Rangers anywhere in the visitor center/museum, but they had plenty of books ready to go in the Junior Ranger room. Only an employee working in the gift shop. That’s why it’s nice we can mail in the booklets!

The hikes were easy for kids and had fantastic views. Nice to get a beautiful site with little effort (especially with kids).

We did the quick, but an uphill, hike to get the best view of the Painted Hills. You can easily see them from the car, but the hike was a great way to stretch our legs and get a different view.

Then we walked around the Painted Cove Trail, an easy walk around some colorful lava rocks. It was fun and easy for kids to do. Not to mention beautiful! Part of it is a boardwalk, which was cool.

I want to go back and explore some more soon! I am thinking we may go stay a night out there again, so we can check out the hills at sunrise or sunset.

We got the Junior Ranger booklets while we were there and just barely got to working/finishing them during our Christmas Break (yeah, we are behind!). I need to get them mailed in! When we get them back, I’ll add a picture of the badges 🙂

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