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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!


  • 06.23.18
    10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Join us in celebrating the traditional arts of the High Desert. Traditional art practitioners and culture keepers will be at the Museum demonstrating their skills. Learn more about the work of Steve Campbell, musical instrument maker; D.W. Frommer, custom boot and shoe maker; Pat Horlacher, silversmith; Dan Fowler, rawhide braider; and Steve McKay, saddlemaker. The (more…)

  • 06.23.18
    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…)

  • 06.23.18
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join Andries Fourie, the Museum’s curator of art and community engagement for a discussion with culture keepers Steve Campbell, D.W. Frommer, Pat Horlacher, Dan Fowler and Steve McKay about preserving the traditional arts of the High Desert. Find out how you can help to ensure the survival of traditional arts by supporting artisans or learning (more…)

  • 06.24.18
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join us in celebrating National Pollinator Week! Learn more about the vital role pollinators play in sustaining our native plants and food system and what you can do to support them. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Free with Museum admission In partnership with (more…)

  • 06.27.18
    3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Join Charles Goodrich, an Oregon-based poet and writer, for a writing workshop titled “Shrines to the Ordinary: Writing to Illuminate Persons, Places, and Things.” The workshop is in conjunction with the Waterston Desert Writing Prize, a literary honor that will be awarded the evening of June 27 to recognize writing illustrating artistic excellence, sensitivity to (more…)

  • 06.27.18
    6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Please join the Waterston Desert Writing Prize Board of Directors, Prize President Ellen Waterston and High Desert Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw for the 2018 Waterston Desert Writing Prize Award Ceremony. Inspired by poet and author Ellen Waterston, this literary award honors writing that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place and desert literacy. This year, (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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