Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center

This excellent paleontology center is 2 miles north of Hwy 26 at Sheep Rock Unit. The well-presented displays include a three-toed horse and petrified dung-beetle balls, along with many other fossils, geologic-histo…
Barbecue in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Tiger Town Brewing

'Tiger Town' was the nickname for what's now Main St in Mitchell, a lively stretch that was frowned upon by the folk up on Piety Hill (where the churches are). This namesake mini brewery is in an army-green food car…
Natural Feature in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Sheep Rock Unit

Featuring the most walks and hikes of the three John Day fossil-bed units, Sheep Rock is also closest to the paleontology center. Above loom majestic, layered mountains tilted and eroding into spectacular formations…
Natural Feature in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Painted Hills Unit

Because no cap rock protects them, the Painted Hills have eroded into low-slung, colorfully banded hills that were originally formed about 30 million years ago. A series of eruptions drifted into beds hundreds of fe…
Natural Feature in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Clarno Unit

The oldest, most remote fossil beds in the area are at the base of the John Day River's canyon. The 40-million-year-old Clarno Unit exposes mudflows that washed over an Eocene-era forest. The Clarno Formation eroded…
Historic Site in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Cant Ranch House

The Cant Ranch House, de-facto headquarters of the Fossil Beds, is near the paleontology center. Once upon a time a mail-order house built by a Scottish immigrant family, it offers a peek into settlers' early lives …
American in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Mitchell Stage Stop

Also called the Little Pine Cafe, this country diner slings good breakfasts, including a tater-tot scramble, as well as pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and soups.
Museum in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Oregon Paleo Lands Institute

A small educational facility which offers local information and a small geography display room.
American in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Bridge Creek Cafe

Petite diner in tiny Mitchell with homemade pie and the usual country cooking.
Museum in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Fossil Museum

This tiny museum is in the center of the town of Fossil and has a vintage photo collection, artifacts from town history, and a display about a nearby ghost town.