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About the Museum

Plan Your Visit

Check out current exhibits and daily programs, find directions, rates, hours and more.

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Kids & Families

Explore Together

Learn about kid-friendly exhibits, activities, camps and more.

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Teach & Learn

Lifelong learning starts here! Explore teacher trainings, memorable field trips and unique school programs.

Join the HDM Family

Make an Impact

Volunteer, become a member or donate to support arts, education, wildlife and more.

The Museum

History & Art

Otters, porcupines, owls, oh my! Encounter wildlife up close, explore the history and culture of the wild West and take in beautiful art. The High Desert Museum is a cultural gem set on 135 acres of awe. It’s no wonder visitors voted us one of the best things to do in Bend Oregon!


  • 07.18.18
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Experience the fun and adventure of rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park. This half-day excursion is designed for families and first-time climbers. Guides with Smith Rock Climbing School will explain the techniques and mechanics of climbing, giving everyone a chance to feel confident trying something new. In addition to climbing, Dr. Laura Ferguson, curator (more…)

  • 07.22.18
    11:00 am - 4:30 pm

See solar cars competing in the American Solar Challenge 2018 cross the finish line at the Museum! Beginning on July 14, collegiate solar car teams will race more than 1,700 miles, following portions of the Oregon National Historic Trail and other trails starting in Nebraska and ending at the High Desert Museum. Watch the solar (more…)

  • 07.27.18
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Celebrate the art of the High Desert! Experience the West through the eyes of its painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers. Mingle with the artists and see painting demonstrations while enjoying an evening of art, music and excitement. Don’t miss your first chance to bid on the artwork in the exhibition. 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (more…)

  • 07.28.18
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Art in the West, each year, we invite artists to submit work that explores the history, people, cultures, wildlife and landscapes of the High Desert. The juried exhibition showcases traditional and contemporary artists’ interpretations of our region’s unique heritage and beauty. The show has become so popular (more…)

  • 07.28.18
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Full steam ahead! See the 1904 sawmill in action and discover how critical this steam-powered sawmill was to homestead families in the High Desert. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Free with Museum admission (more…)

  • 07.31.18
    5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

A time for children and adults with physical, intellectual, and/or social disabilities to enjoy the Museum after hours. Explore the newest exhibits and revisit your favorites. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Free for individuals, friends and family. Made possible by (more…)


9.2.17 -

Kids, Natural History

Innovation Lab: Design Inspired by Nature

Learn how designers, engineers and architects are taking a page out of nature's book, and create some designs of your own in this family-friendly exhibition.

4.28.18 -

Art, Natural History

Ascent: Climbing Explored

Discover the sport and spirit of mountaineering and rock climbing in a new, Museum-curated exhibit highlighting the history and culture of these adventure sports.

5.3.18 -

Kids, Art

Kids Curate

Kids Curate ensures that arts education remains in schools. The High Desert Museum offers teachers the professional development required to deliver integrated arts projects to their students.

5.12.18 -

Art, History

High Desert Dreams: The Lost Homesteads of the Fort Rock Basin

Photographer Rich Bergeman captures the decaying homesteads, vanished town sites and High Desert ecology through beautiful black-and-white photographs.

Growing up otter



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