John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon
Unlike other fossil sites that often offer a peek at one particular period of ancient history, the John Day Fossil Beds hold within a ruggedly dramatic landscape a history of extinct life spanning from 6 million to 54 million years ago. It is one of the best records of evolutionary change on Earth [source: National Park Service].
Hiking trails around the Sheep Rock Unit offer visitors a chance to see fossils still in the Earth, and the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center offers a series of superb exhibits about the animal and plant life that once thrived in the region. Fossil talks and walks are also scheduled during all seasons except winter.
As with all national parks, the removal of fossils is prohibited by law, so you might want to stop in at the nearby town of Fossil to purchase a souvenir to take back home.