The John Day Fossil Beds, Part 2: Clarno

The Clarno area of the park showcases formations from the time directly preceding the Painted Hills, from 54 to 37 million years ago, and shows a very complete record of the different mammals and other animals who lived here and how they were impacted by the changing climate. The Palisades, formed from a volcanic eruption 48 million years ago, loom 150 above the valley floor are impressive when viewed from their base or afar.

Palisades from Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Palisades from Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Taking the Arch Trail up to the base, you can get a closer view of the erosion and also a view of the eponymous arch:

View of the Palisades from Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

View of the Palisades from Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

View from base of Palisades, Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

View from base of Palisades, Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Arch in the Palisades, Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Arch in the Palisades, Arch Trail, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Over time these eroding giants have crumbled and left boulders strewn below in which fossils can be seen although the animal fossils are not able to be viewed from the trail.

Fossilized leaves from Trail of Fossils, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

Fossilized leaves from Trail of Fossils, Clarno Unit, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon