Friday, April 31 and Saturday, May 1, 2021
We wanted to visit the Spring Basin Wilderness in central Oregon, which is too far for a day hike, so we spent the weekend camping in the area. While we were here we visited two of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
After setting up camp along the John Day River we headed over to the Clarno Unit, which has these cool rock palisades:
First we hiked the Geologic Time Trail. Signs along the way note events of the last 50 million years. Each foot of trail represents 37,000 years:
Then we headed up another trail to check out a natural arch cut into the cliff by erosion:
Some fellow hikers pointed out this bee honeycomb high up on the cliff face:
Near that spot are some petrified logs, one vertical and one horizontal:
View of the surrounding area:
Finally we hiked the Trail of Fossils where people can see visible plant fossils from the forest that blanketed this region 44 million years ago:
On Saturday we had planned to hike in the Spring Basin Wilderness but with the rain we changed our plans and went the Painted Hills instead. We decided to do the Carroll Rim Trail:
There were some muddy stretches. Clearly the rain we’d had further north had hit here too:
The view up here is pretty nice!
We found SIX discarded banana peels up there. This is why I carry gloves and a plastic bag, to pick up after others:
After sitting at the viewpoint for awhile we headed back down:
One last view before heading out:
This is my third time to the Painted Hills. It’s gotten WAY busier since my first visit ten years ago in 2011.