Take a journey through time in the John Day River Territory

The mighty waters of the wild and scenic John Day River define this region; sweeping past thousands of years of history just waiting to be discovered. Out here, cowboys and Native Americans aren’t just characters in old western movies, they’re a part of everyday life. Pull up a stool at a local watering hole and you’re bound to leave with a few good stories and new friends. Not to mention memories of epic landscapes, untamed waterways, ancient fossils,

and the warm hospitality of this undiscovered gem. 

Explore the John Day Food Trail

Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Cottonwood Canyon State Park is rugged and vast, from the vertical cliffs carved by the John Day River to deep side canyons and arid, rocky grasslands that extend for miles in all directions.

Wasco, OR

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center
Sheep Rock Unit
Did you know that early cousins of elephants, camels, rhinoceroses and sabertooth tigers used to roam freely in Eastern Oregon?

Dayville, OR

Painted Hills

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

When you travel to the Painted Hills, you can see millions of years of history revealed in the layers of mountains of earth, one color at a time.

Mitchell, OR

Journey Through Time-Scenic Byway

This route begins at the Columbia River, the traditional fishing and gathering grounds for generations of Native Americans. It travels through river canyons and into the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, where 55 million years of life are preserved in the rocks.

Sherman County Historical Museum

museum with interpretive exhibits of tools and equipment used by families in wheat and livestock production, homes, businesses, schools and churches on the Columbia Plateau, and hands-on experiences for everyone!

Moro, OR

Ride the Painted Hills

But nowhere in the state is the landscape quite like the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon, the dramatic display of high desert foothills with multi-colored ribbons that reflect millions of years of geologic history.