Did we want to come to the John Day Fossil Beds NM? Not one bit. The Park’s isolation, high gas prices and high temperatures had us dreading the trip. We did not expect the incredible learning experience at the Paleontology Center or the stunning lunar landscape of the Painted Hills. We had a wonderful time.
The Paleontology Center might be the best place in the United States to learn about the Age of Mammals; the Site has the fossils, the diversity, a great Ranger and a terrific museum, intelligent enough for parents and fun enough for kids.
Good luck in figuring out how to include this Site on either road trip or day trip plans. A detour stop if you are going from Boise, Idaho to Portland, Oregon might be do-able. The Park’s only drawback is its isolation.