48 wonders of the West

These national monuments and other treasures will make you fall in love with the West all over again

Top 9 National Monuments

Build a great vacation around a spectacular island, forest, cliff dwelling, canyon, fossil bed, tower, or volcano

National monuments: John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon
Oregon Tourism Commission

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Elephants! Tigers! Rhinos! All here in Eastern Oregon. Well, not the living animals—their ancestors, preserved in rock for eternity at the John Day National Monument northwest of Bend.

John Day’s beautiful badlands contain some 50 million years worth of plants and animals; you can get all that ancient natural history straight at the excellent Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. 

And the monument offers more than just looking at bones; it’s also great for hiking, particularly in the Painted Hills area, which explodes with wildflowers in spring and summer. More

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