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About The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current | View This Issue
Fossil Beds journey takes
visitors to Cenozoic Era
through Grant County
Supplement of The Blue
Scenic drives, hikes
and fossil displays await
By Angel Carpenter
Blue Mountain Eagle
KIMBERLY – Delve deep into history
– millions of years back – with a visit to
the John Day Fossil Beds National Mon-
The Thomas Condon Paleontology
Center is a state-of-the-art facility, offering
an abundance of fossil displays and infor-
Located between Dayville and Kim-
berly on Highway 19, the Center hours are
10 a.m.-5 p.m., daily, with free admission.
Scientists can be seen at work through
a fossil laboratory viewing window.
“A Place of Discovery” is an 18-min-
ute movie for young and old to enjoy, and
a junior ranger room offers youngsters a
place to color and learn more about the
prehistoric mammals that once roamed
Blue Basin Trailhead
Several hikes in the Monument show
off the unique landscape, including two
hikes at the Blue Basin Trailhead, just a
few miles north of the visitor center.
One direction leads hikers on mile-
long Island In Time Trail, a path which
gently ascends to a feast for the eyes – a
blue-green claystone canyon landscape.
Held within the layers, created by re-
distributed volcanic ash, are many of the
fossils one can ¿ nd on display at the visitor
For a more strenuous adventure, the
Blue Basin Overlook Trail loops up and
around the canyon lending a breathtaking,
bird’s-eye view of the canyon formation
The trail is 3.25 miles long with a 760-
foot elevation gain.
Hikers are required to stick to the trail,
and digging for fossils and taking rocks or
fossils is prohibited.
If a fossil is found, take a picture of it
and show a ranger.
For a more recent history lesson,
there’s the Historic Cant Ranch, located
across the highway from the visitor center.
Built in 1917, the Cant Ranch is on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Museum items owned by the James
and Elizabeth Cant families are on display,
and visitors are allowed to pick fruit from
the historic orchards on the property.
A few short trails provide views of the
Sheep Rock Overlook and the John Day
For more information, call 541-987-
Photos by The Eagle/Angel Carpenter
Naomi Mullin and Levi Carpenter hike back down from the Blue Basin Island In Time Trail at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
SAVE $ on GAS!
John Day, Canyon City,
Mt. Vernon, Prairie City Areas
M-F 8 am - 5 pm
Sat urday 9 am - 4 pm
Wednesday & Friday
WALLA WALLA RUN
Now serving the Monument
& Long Creek area
Call for complete schedules