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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!


  • 06.27.18
    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…)

  • 07.13.18
    8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Join us on an exciting evening expedition in search of bats on the Museum grounds using echolocator equipment. Bring weather-appropriate clothing and a flashlight or headlamp. 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm Members $5, non-members $10 Registration and prepayment required. In partnership with (more…)

  • 07.14.18
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Learn how to sketch the dioramas and artifacts in the Hall of Exploration and Settlement under the guidance of artist and teacher Ian Factor. Whether you want to sketch the Hudson Bay Company fur trappers’ encampment or the goods in the Hi Loy Mercantile in Silver City, now’s your chance! Materials required include a sketchbook (more…)

  • 07.14.18
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Enjoy some toe-tapping tunes from our pioneering house band! Dancing encouraged. 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Free with Museum admission (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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