Mind-Blowing Kaleidoscope of Colors at Painted Hills [50 Fantastic Pics]

April 8th, 2011 Permalink

The Painted Hills are nature’s eye candy in a kaleidoscope of colors. This truly unique scenic marvel is within the heavily eroded volcanic deposits of Oregon at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Park. Entombed in the natural beauty are well-preserved plant and animal fossil records which span more than 40 of the 65 million years of the Cenozoic Era. Best of all is the mind-blowing and stunning beauty. Can you hear nature calling to you, adventurers? We love these pics! [50 Fantastic Photos!]

Painted Hills  - Oregon's John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a 14,000 acre National Park in Oregon that is divided into three widely separated units. The monument’s main headquarters is at the Cant Ranch Visitor Center in the Sheep Rock Unit. There is also the Clarno Unit and the Painted Hills Unit. This is a breathtaking example of Painted Hills. Photo #1 by Misserion

Multi Color Hills - wow @ John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Wow, these are more of the stunning multi-colored Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #2 by Bala


John Day Fossil Beds

John Day Fossil Beds. The well-preserved fossil record of plants and animals are world renowned within the heavily eroded volcanic deposits of the scenic John Day River basin. The fossils span more than 40 of the 65 million years of the Cenozoic Era. Photo #3 by Amy Selleck

Waves of Color From the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon

Waves of Color from the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon. Photo #4 by Greg Harness

Mars and Venus had a Baby Planet - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

“Mars and Venus had a Baby Planet,” the photographer joked. This too is John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #5 by Pictoscribe

Stitched shot of the painted hills near John Day Fossil Beds National Monument - Painted Hills Unit near Prineville, Oregon

Stitched shot of the painted hills near John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Painted Hills Unit near Prineville, Oregon. Photo #6 by Frank Kovalchek

Basalt Cliffs at Sunset

Basalt Cliffs at Sunset. The Basalt cliffs are along the Flood of Fire trail in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #7 by Karl Johnson

Purple in the Hills - Painted Hills

Purple in the Hills – In 1861, fossilized rhinoceros teeth were discovered in the area. Can you picture rhinoceros running around in Oregon? Photo #8 by Desirae

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Scenic Area

This is one of the scenic walking routes at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #9 by Meredith Farmer

Cathedral Rock in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Cathedral Rock in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The large band running through the cliff consists of tuff. Photo #10 by Cacophony

Clarno Palisades, Clarno Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Clarno Palisades in the Clarno Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The Clarno Unit has nearly 2,000 acres of trails and exhibits and one picnic area. These cliffs are 44-million-years-old. It was once a land of near-tropical forest climate, but now Clarno Palisades are a near-desert environment. Once again, it’s packed full of fossils. Photo #11 by Ben Amstutz

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument - View of Sheep Rock with a rainbow

View of Sheep Rock with a rainbow. The Sheep Rock Unit has the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and the Cant Ranch Historical Museum. The Paleontology Center’s exhibits focus on fossils, geology and paleontology. The Museum at Cant Ranch focuses more the cultural history details of John Day Valley. Somewhere over an Oregon rainbow there is this fantastic view awaiting you. Photo #12 by National Park Service

View from the Mascall overlook, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

View from the Mascall overlook. There are four geologic formations at John Day Fossils Beds. From youngest to oldest, they are: Rattlesnake Formation, Mascall Formation, John Day Formation, and Clarno Formation. Photo #13 by National Park Service

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Painted Hills Unit

If you go there, you really must visit the Painted Hills Unit at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It covers over 3,100 acres of natural wonders. The undulating surfaces of the hills look like they’ve been painted in a variety of spectacular colors and a huge number of vertebrate fossils have been found here. Wildflowers grow here and just add more beauty to a land already packed full of it. Photo #14 by Desirae

snow on the Painted Hills

Snow on the Painted Hills. Photo #15 by National Park Service

Blue Basin Trail - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Like to hike? This is part of the Blue Basin Trail in the National Park. Photo #16 by Karl Johnson

Color Bands - Painted Hills

Color Bands – Painted Hills. It appears to be a magical place, ready to enchant visitors with its beauty. Photo #17 by Shankarr Kalyanaraaman

Sunrise over Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Sunrise over Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #18 by Bala

Green Mud in Turtle Cove - part of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Green Mud? Yes, its located in Turtle Cove which is yet another part of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The middle and upper portions of the extensive John Day strata is divided into four major fossil-bearing units deposited between 30 and 18 million years ago. From oldest to
youngest, they include the Bridge Creek Flora, Turtle Cove, Kimberly, and the Haystack Valley. Photo #19 by Erin and Lance Willett

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument -  Thomas Condon Paleontology Center

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. Photo #20 by National Park Service

Hoodoos at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

These hoodoos are part of Clarno Palisades. The pillars of volcanic mud preserve the remains of tiny four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, crocodilians, and meat-eating creodonts that once roamed the ancient jungles. The Palisades entomb a great diversity of fossils from a time when the environment had towering volcanoes and a landscape covered by near-tropical forest that was fed by approximately 100 inches of rain per year. Photo #21 by National Park Service

Metaforms - What wilt thou become

The photographer asked, “Metaforms: What wilt thou become?” Photo #22 by Pictoscribe

View of the Cant Ranch with rainbow

View of the Cant Ranch with rainbow. Photo #23 by National Park Service

John Day National Monument is the maximum bang for your buck - odd landscape trip

The photographer wrote, “John Day National Monument is the maximum bang for your buck ‘odd landscape’ trip one can take. These formations speak volumes of the underlying metaforms of the material and energy worlds and my second trip here after some 15 years was still more awesome than I expected…highly recommended.” Photo #24 by Pictoscribe

Paint Amidst Green

“Paint Amidst Green,” described the photographer. The Painted Hills are truly a unique scenic marvel. Photo #25 by Bala

Entrance Into Painted Hills - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Entrance Into Painted Hills – John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #26 by Karl Johnson

John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon

John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon. The National Park described, “The yellows, golds, blacks, and reds of the Painted Hills are best seen in the late afternoon. Tones and hue may appear to change from one visit to another, as the claystones differ with ever-changing light and moisture levels. The shapes and colors of the hills are sublime.” Photo #27 by Doug Dolde

Painted Hills

The Painted Hills are a delight to photographers, nature lovers, and fossil hunters. The three different units that make up this National Park are spread out in Oregon. The Painted Hills Unit is located ten miles west of Mitchell, Oregon, on State Route 26. Photo #28 by Tim Gallivan

Oregon - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Oregon, yet a different scene with a different set of colors at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #29 by Meredith Farmer

Overlook Trail at Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Overlook Trail at Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The green of the Painted Hills is sagebrush while the reds and golds are the colored hills. Photo #30 by Karl Johnson

Sheep Rock, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

There are a variety of trails at Sheep Rock, some long hikes and others are short trails. There are also trails that are paved. There are two picnic areas at the Sheep Rock Unit. Vibrant colors in the basin delight the eye and create a memorable experience for adventurers. Photo #31 by National Park Service

Painted Hills - John Day

Painted Hills – John Day. Photo #32 by brx0

Volcanic Layers at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Volcanic Layers at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #33 by Erin and Lance Willett

Panorama Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This is a panorama picture stitched from 5 images. Photo #34 by Cacophony

Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #35 by Karl Johnson

Painted mounds - John Day

Painted mounds – John Day. Photo #36 by Amy Selleck

At Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon

At Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. Photo #37 by National Park Service

Strata at the Fossil Beds of Painted Hills John Day National Monument

Did you know erosion could be so spectacularly beautiful? Strata at the Fossil Beds of Painted Hills John Day National Monument. Photo #38 by Jon Dissed

View of the John Day River Valley

View of the John Day River Valley. Photo #39 by Erin and Lance Willett

Trying to grow crops in the high desert country near John Day Fossil Beds National Monument - Painted Hills Unit

Trying to grow crops in the high desert country near John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Painted Hills Unit. Photo #40 by Frank Kovalchek

Multi-colored hill at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Multi-colored hill at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #41 by Frank Kovalchek

Views from blue basin trail in the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Views from blue basin trail in the Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #42 by Karl Johnson

Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Painted Hills, more of nature’s eye candy at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon. Photo #43 by National Park Service

Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds

The John Day Fossil Beds of Painted Hills have been called a “kaleidoscope of colors.” Photo #44 by National Park Service

Sand Paintings by the Creator

“Sand Paintings by the Creator,” the photographer so aptly stated. Photo #45 by Pictoscribe

View of Cathedral Rock

View of Cathedral Rock. Photo #46 by National Park Service

Stitched shot from the Painted Cove Trail

Stitched shot from the Painted Cove Trail. This National Park is an astounding place, created by millions of years of volcanic eruptions and erosion, and seemingly hand-painted by the master stroke of God’s paint brush. Photo #47 by Frank Kovalchek

Looking down at the Painted Hills of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Looking down at the Painted Hills of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Photo #48 by National Park Service

driving into Picture Gorge - John Day

This is a view of driving into Picture Gorge which was named for Native American pictographs painted on the canyon walls. The Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, including the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and the James Cant Ranch Historic District and museum, are 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Picture Gorge along Route 19. Photo #49 by Cacophony

Flowers At Foothills

Flowers At Foothills. Wildflowers are at their peak from late April to early May in this part of Oregon. The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument offers spectacular views of hills painted by nature. You can hike, picnic, explore and even dig for real fossils. Photo #50 by Bala


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