The Painted Hills

Painted Hills

The Painted Hills, a unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, get their name from the stratifications in the soil. The bands are from layers of silt, vegetative matter and more from the time this was an ancient river floodplain. The colored bands in the hills seem to change color with moisture levels and the angle of the sun overhead.

On the day I took this photograph I went to the Painted Hills in the morning and saw the typical flat looking Painted Hills and colors I normally see. I left and went to Girds Creek Road to take some pictures there. When I came back to the Painted Hills the sporadic showers had dampened the surface of the hills and accentuated the colors. A better angle to the sun accentuated the shapes of the hills. Sometimes it pays to stay and wait for a picture, or at least to come back and check on it again.

The hills are located about an hour east of Prineville, near Mitchell, Oregon near US Hwy–26.

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