Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds

The Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is one of three distinct areas of the monument. The other two units are the Painted Hills and the Clarno.

Heading to the Sheep Rock Unit

The Sheep Rock Unit is located on Highway 19, south of Kimberly and north of US 25. This highway parallels the John Day River, which is especially colorful in the winter months.

Photos from the Sheep Rock Unit

Here are a few photos showing the trip through the unit and our hike into Blue Basin.

Hiking the Sheep Rock Unit

We finally arrived at our destination: Blue Basin. Among the many possible trails, we took the Islands in Time Trail into the heart of Blue Basin. It is an out-and-back trail and is only 1.3 miles total. There are several exhibits along the way explaining what types of fossils were found in the area. In these exhibits there are replicas of fossil remains shown in situ. Here is the Sheep Rock Trail map (in PDF) from the National Park Service.

 

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