The Painted Hills give their name to one of three units of the park.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
John Day Fossil Beds is a somewhat unique park in that it is made up of three small, separate units: the Sheep Rock, Painted Hills and Clarno units.
The Painted Hills unit is known for its spectacularly-colored, striped hills. The Clarno unit is a place where you can hike the quarter-mile "Trail of Fossils" and see fossils still in place in the rocks containing them or the "Geologic Time Trail" and get a feel for the amount of time that has passed since the formation of the earth, allowing the process of evolution to take place.
The Sheep Rock unit is the largest of the three and is where the main visitor center is located. The visitor center is also the home of the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center with displays of fossils found in the park.