Hot Spot

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Painted Hills Unit 2019

Mitchell, OR

In 2014, Painted Hills became one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon as part of a campaign from Travel Oregon. While the Painted Hills are certainly a unique wonder of Oregon, this resulted in a significant increase in visitation. Since then, park staff have noticed a dramatic increase in undesignated trails, unauthorized removal of fossils, and unmanned aircraft.  The fragile nature of the soils comprising the actual painted hills mean a small number of people have huge impacts on the hills, thereby degrading the scenic value of the landscape.  We will be working with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, the nearby town of Mitchell, Travel Oregon, and other local stakeholders to address these impacts through communication workshops, strategic planning, and public educational programming.


Social Media Blitz

When: Friday, August 30 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 pm 

Where: Throughout Painted Hills

Contact: Sandra Gladish | (541) 987-2333 |

Additional Details: The purpose of this activity will be to encourage the public to blast social media with proper land use at Painted Hills and to use the hashtag #DontHurtTheDirt.


Photography Hike at Carroll Rim

Time: Friday, August 30 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (sunset is at 7:31 pm)

Where: Carroll Rim trailhead

Contact: Sandra Gladish | (541) 987-2333 |

Additional Details: Park Ranger Jessica Barnett will facilitate a hike with photographers up at Carroll Rim with the purpose of educating photographers and artist on proper Leave No Trace ethics.  They will be encouraged to upload pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #DontHurtTheDirt.


Night Sky Program

When: Friday, August 30 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Where: Painted Hills Overlook trailhead

Contact: Sandra Gladish | (541) 987-2333 |

Additional Details: Park Rangers Kyle Rainey and Ben Shafer will lead a star program, with viewing telescopes, at the Painted Hills Overlook trail. The main goal is to have attendees learn how to Leave No Trace while enjoying the night sky.


Painted Hills Festival

When: Saturday, August 31 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: City Park, Mitchell, Oregon

Contact: Sandra Gladish | (541) 987-2333 |

Additional Details: During the Painted Hills festival, the park and other partners would share a table/booth while promoting Leave No Trace and the Hot Spot event.  Another table/booth will be staffed by Leave No Trace trainers. The event includes a parade, music, and food!

Upcoming Hot Spot Events

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