The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is a state-of-the-art museum featuring displays of 500 fossil specimens that were found in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

The fossil record of the John Day Basin spans over 40 million years.

Located in the Sheep Rock Unit, the 11,000-square foot facility is also a National Park Service research facility.

Scientists can often be seen at work through a fossil laboratory viewing window, with a close-up view of the fossil they are focused on.

Outside the museum are viewing binoculars for a look at surrounding rock formations.

“A Place of Discovery” is an 18-minute movie for young and old to enjoy in the museum, and a junior ranger room offers youngsters a place to color and learn more about the prehistoric mammals that once roamed the area. There is also a gift shop area.

Admission is free to the center, and donations are accepted.

Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Labor Day. In fall through spring, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they are closed for certain holidays.

Other points of interest in the Sheep Rock Unit include the Cant Ranch, located near the Paleontology Center, and Blue Basin which includes two hikes to a picturesque blue-green claystone canyon landscape.

Directions: The museum is located between Dayville and Kimberly on Highway 19. For more information, contact the park at 541-987-2333 or visit nps.gov/joda.

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