Discover prehistoric remains at Oregon's Painted Hills

Few places on earth contain the breadth of fossil records foundin the volcanic ash deposits of John Day Fossil Beds NationalMonument, in north-central Oregon. Now, thanks to the newlyexpanded Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, visitors have a window― literally ― into scientists’ work and the nearly40-million-year span of the Age of Mammals represented by thefossils they’ve found here.

Displays in the lobby introduce some of the animals that onceroamed nearby. Through large windows you can watch scientists aslittle as 2 feet away separating fossils from rock. Outside you cantake in views of the famous painted hills or hike one of thewildflower-lined trails in Blue Basin, north of the visitor center.A large interpretive display is set to open in the center by fall;visitors will walk through environments ― from jungle tosavanna ― representing time periods from which fossils arestill being found in surrounding hills.

Fossil finder

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center at John Day Fossil Beds(8:30-4:30 daily; free; on State 19, 2 miles north of U.S. 26 and 8miles northwest of Dayville; or541/987-2333)

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