Painted Hills, OR

This place is unreal! You can find the Painted Hills located just 70 miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The yellows, blacks, greens, and reds of the Painted Hills are beautiful any time of the day, but for best lit photography try late afternoon. When we visited it was a cold and rainy day, so the colors appeared richer and more vibrant. Changing light and moisture levels can drastically affect the tones and hues visible in the hills.

About 33 million years ago volcanic ash formed these colorful layers of hills. Over time the layers changed into a type of clay that expands when it absorbs water, making it inhospitable to plants. When the rust colored clay dries it contracts, cracks, and breaks; giving the hills a "popcorn-like" appearance. This type of clay is now used in things like toothpaste, chocolate, and kitty litter--who knew!

If and when you get the chance, make sure to visit the Painted Hills. If you have the stomach for it, drive even further to the observatory where you can hike along a partially paved trail and observe the hills more carefully. Rain or shine, the hills are definitely one of nature's hidden beauties.
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4 comments on THE PAINTED HILLS

  1. This is absolutely beautiful! I can't believe I've never heard of these hills before! Great photographs by the way :-)

  2. so freaking pretty! Why have i never heard of this place before

  3. Wow, this place looks awesome! Unreal...

  4. I've never been to the States. But once I manage to come, I'll definitely try to see this place. It looks amazing! Great pictures, too. Thanks for sharing this place.
    Joanna from


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