Painted Hills - Part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Known as one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon, the Painted Hills is series of hills with outstanding colors. Located roughly 86 miles northeast of Bend close to Mitchell, Oregon, the hills get their colors from the geology of the area over 35 million years. The combination of river flood plain, tropical forest, volcanic ash, and time has resulted in the color striations of the hills. Colors of red, green, orange, tan, and even lavender all provide a beautiful representation of millions of years of changing climate and geological upheavals. The hills monument cover over 3000 acres and are the most visited of the John Day Fossil Beds. Several easy hikes enable visitors to view the hills close up and from a distance. As the day goes on, the changing light and shadows as evening approaches can create an even more dramatic landscape to admire.
When we visited Painted Hills on 6-13-2020, we were pleased at the condition of the day use area directly outside the monument with clean, well stocked restrooms and a nicely mowed grass area with clean picnic tables. The trails were well defined and visitors were noted reading the signs explaining the geology of the area. The Painted Hills is a must see for anyone visiting Central Oregon.
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