Fossil Hunting, Paleoclimates, & Painted Hills Cabin Trip
Hundreds of miles of landscape in this part of Oregon was buried under volcanic ash, creating one of the richest fossil beds and most vibrantly colorful geologic formations in the world! The red, yellow, and black “paleosol” stripes of the Painted Hills create an almost unbelievable panorama in May, when hundreds of thousands of wildflowers add to the visual appeal. On this trip we’ll heads east, into the “rain shadow” of the Cascade Mountains to explore Central Oregon’s famous John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This beautiful high-desert landscape is home to complex rock formations, tumbleweeds, sagebrush, juniper trees, jackrabbits, and sunshine. You’ll get to learn about Oregon’s fascinating geologic past, and even hunt for fossils that you get to keep.
We’ll stay in cozy rustic cabins (or solo tents if you prefer) on the old Murtha Ranch, now the new Cottonwood Canyon State Park, which boasts the restored barn, windmill and corral of its ranching days. Early mornings and late afternoons here are a Monet’s canvas of stairsteps of volcanic rimrock, dappled with colored light. Read the detailed trip description to learn more.
Dates: Saturday, May 8 - Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Cost: $50 - $350. Need-based financial aid is applied on a sliding scale for those who qualify.
Equipment & Packing List (coming soon)
These forms can be completed only after you have received a trip placement email, and are due by Monday, March 15th. To complete these forms, you’ll need to log-in to the Engage LC platform using your @lclark.edu email.
- Equipment Request
- Travel Plans
This is a brand new trip for us, so we don’t have any pictures beyond those you see here!