Often asked: Where Are The Painted Hills In Oregon?

What town is closest to Painted Hills Oregon?

Getting To Painted Hills The closest large town is Bend which is 90 miles and about two hours away. From Portland it’s 200 miles and will take approximately five hours to get to. You need to take US26 (Ochoco Highway) and turn onto Burnt Ridge road but there will be signs so you shouldn’t miss the turn-off.

How do you get to Painted Hills in Oregon?


  1. Head North on Hwy 97.
  2. Connect to Hwy 26 and take it East towards Mitchell.
  3. Drive through the Ochoco National Forest (about 1 hour)
  4. Look for brown signs mentioning the Painted Hills & Burnt Ranch Road.
  5. Take a left on Burnt Ranch Road.

Where are these Painted Hills?

Visiting the Painted Hills Unit The Painted Hills Unit is located about 9 miles northwest of the town of Mitchell, Oregon.

Where is the Painted Desert in Oregon?

The Painted Hills is a geologic site in Wheeler County, Oregon that is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument along with Sheep Rock and Clarno. It totals 3,132 acres (12.67 km2) and is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell, Oregon.

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What is the best time to visit Painted Hills Oregon?

September is an excellent time to visit the Painted Hills, since the days will still be sunny but cooler and more comfortable for seeing the sites. The main site of the Painted Hills, one of 3 units in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is just outside of Mitchell, OR.

Are Painted Hills worth it?

Overall, the trip to the Painted Hills was better than expected and certainly worth the trip. The sights are so beautiful, and the landscape so unique, that it’s one of those places every Oregonian should visit at least once.

What causes the Painted Hills in Oregon?

The unique colors that streak the clay rich hills and mounds were formed over 35 million years ago by volcanic ash layers deposited by ancient eruptions when the area was a river plain. Over time, the layers of ash containing different minerals compacted and solidified into the various bands of colors seen today.

Are the Painted Hills Oregon Open?

The outdoor areas, trails, and overlooks at all three units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno units, are open from sunrise to sunset every day.

What is the best time to visit Oregon?

There are many savvy travelers that wait until after the summer rush (after Labor Day) and enjoy the usually beautiful Indian Summer and fall. I personally love mid-September to mid-October. There’s still a good chance of warm weather and it can be beautiful or dramatic with fog, mist and beautiful cloud formations.

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Can you walk on the Painted Hills?

When visiting the Painted Hills unit, there are a few ways you can walk and view their majesty. A handful of short trails wind their way through and along the Painted Hills, each offering a different perspective of these colorful hills.

Is Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon?

The Painted Hills are 9 miles northwest of Mitchell, Oregon — a small town in eastern Oregon. The closest big city is Bend, Oregon, which is a 2-hour drive (90 miles). From Bend, take US-26 5 miles east of Mitchell and then turn right at the signs for John Day Fossil Beds — Painted Hills Unit.

What formed the Painted Hills?

To understand where the Painted Hills get their color, it is first necessary to know they were formed from layer after layer of volcanic lava and mud flows, overlaid by volcanic ash deposits, over the last 55 million years. The tannish-cream colored deposits are rhyolitic ash that is about 70% silica.

What is there to do in Mitchell Oregon?

Essential Mitchell

  • Carroll Rim Trail. Hiking Trails.
  • Lucky Strike Mine. Mines.
  • Painted Hills. 122.
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Painted Hills Unit. National Parks.
  • Walton Lake. Scenic Drives, Bodies of Water.
  • Lookout Mountain. Mountains.
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. 453.
  • Washington Family Ranch. Ranches.

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