John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in Wheeler and Grant counties in east-central Oregon. Located within the John Day River basin and managed by the National Park Service, the park is known for its well-preserved layers of fossil plants and mammals that lived in the region between the late Eocene, about 44 million years ago, and the late Miocene, about 7 million years ago. The monument consists of three geographically separate units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno.
The units cover a total of 13,944 acres (5,643 ha) of semi-desert shrublands, riparian zones, and colorful badlands. About 125,000 people visit the park each year for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing or to visit the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center or the James Cant Ranch Historic District.
Entrance to the park and its visitor center, museums, and exhibits is free,and trails, overlooks, and picnic sites at all three units are open during daylight hours year-round. No food, lodging, or fuel is available at the park, and camping is not allowed. However, lodging, groceries, gasoline, campsites, and other amenities are available elsewhere in the region. Hours of operation for the Cant Ranch vary seasonally.Horses are not allowed on hiking trails, in picnic areas, or on bare rock exposures in undeveloped areas of the monument.