Posts Tagged ‘Painted Hills’

Scouting the Painted Hills

We recently had a great opportunity to scout large areas of Eastern Oregon as part of our collaboration with Travel Oregon.  It’s amazing just how stunning this state is, and what incredible natural beauty we have – from lakes, rivers, mountains to rock formations impacted by centuries of movement and weathering by mother nature.

The Painted Hills are located just outside of Mitchell, and are breathtaking. We purposely planned our arrival for the ‘golden hour’ and weren’t disappointed by the images we got.  

Travel Oregon calls the Painted Hills one of their ‘Seven Wonders of Oregon‘, and they’re right.  This area is gobsmacking in its beauty, even if you can’t imagine the thousands of years it took to create the varying layers that have formed the hills.  To put this on the big or small screen ensures a mesmerizing visual to enhance the story you’re telling.

The Painted Hills are a National Monument, and as such when filming you will need to work closely with the Park Management team, in addition to applying for a permit.

Depending on the size of your production and where you shoot, parking is available at the most popular areas of the monument.  There is also what could be a production base at the entrance to the park.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about filming in the Painted Hills, either for film, commercial, branded content or anything else.


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Eastern Oregon Scout

COFO recently went on an extensive scout throughout Eastern Oregon as part of their collaboration with Travel Oregon.  Leaving Bend, we headed south to Fort Rock and the Fort Rock Homestead, a fabulous museum located opposite the extraordinary former volcano.

From the Homestead Museum, we continued south on Highway 31 to Silver Lake, and Summer Lake Hot Springs.

Cowboy Dinner Tree in Silver Lake (and their very friendly cat).

Summer Lake Hot Springs  

After staying the night in Fields we headed south again and across Hart Mountain, through the Warner Wetlands.  

Hart Mountain Campground

Warner Wetlands from Hart Mountain

Traveling across Hart Mountain, we drove along the mountain range, through wide open fields interspersed with cattle and horses.

We didn’t see many people on the journey but we did drop down into the 205 Highway and down to Fields, the gateway to the Alvord Desert.

Fields Station

Golden hour on the Alvord Desert (simply breathtaking)

Alvord Desert and the Steens Mountain in the background

To capture the full beauty of the Alvord, we stayed a few nights in Fields, hoping to have some success at sunrise and sunset.

Misty sunset over the Alvord

Rainbow over the Alvord

Leaving Fields, we traveled along Fields-Denio Road, which wraps around the Steens Mountain. 

Alvord Desert Hot Springs

Steens Mountain

Leaving the Steens behind, we traveled along highway 78 to Burns, and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Burns signpost

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (Harney County)

Driving through Harney County we traveled on highway 395 through the Malheur National Forest and up to John Day, home to the Painted Hills. We then traveled along highway 26 to Dayville and on up to Kimberly, all along the John Day River.

John Day intersection

Cathederal Rock with John Day River

James Cant Museum, John Day (with Sheep Rock in the background)

This is some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever see, particularly if you are wanting astounding rock formations and colors in the background of your shoot.  The James Cant Museum isn’t open year round, and therefore may be available through the State Park service for your production.  The Museum has horse corrals, a barn, orchards and plenty of parking for your production vehicles.

James Cant Museum orchards

Circling through Kimberly and Mitchell, we went through the Painted Hills National Monument at the golden hour.  Filming here would need the support of the State Park rangers, and we can certainly help with those permits.  Please always make sure to give us plenty of notice when permits are required.

Painted Hills National Monument

Candy Corn rock formation in the Painted Hills

Coming to the end of our scout trip was disappointing.  We didn’t have a chance to stop in the Ochoco National Forest to get some images there as it was too late in the day.

From the Painted Hills we traveled through Prineville back to Bend, saving the Ochoco’s for another day.


Eastern Oregon trip map

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