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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!


  • 05.18.18
    5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Children and adults with physical, intellectual and/or social disabilities are invited to enjoy the High Desert Museum after hours when it’s quiet and uncrowded. Explore the Museum’s newest exhibits and revisit your favorites. 5:00 pm — 8:00 pm Free for individuals, friends and family Made possible by (more…)

  • 05.19.18
    8:00 am - 6:00 pm

What stories were Native Americans telling through petroglyphs and pictographs created thousands of years ago? Travel with Andries Fourie, HDM’s curator of art and community engagement, to several publicly accessible rock art sites in Central and Eastern Oregon. The field trip across Oregon’s stunning outback will provide historical, cultural and ecological context for the region’s (more…)

  • 05.20.18
    7:00 am - 9:00 am

You might be surprised by the variety of migrating songbirds on the Museum grounds! Come before we open to experience the serene pleasure of strolling for sparrows. Tour independently or join a wildlife curator or naturalist volunteer to help you identify the birds. Coffee, tea and pastries provided. 7:00 am — 9:00 am (Doors open (more…)

  • 05.22.18
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Public lands are part of our national heritage, belonging to us and to future generations. Join Curator of Natural History Louise Shirley and Curator of Western History Laura Ferguson for a discussion of public lands and their management. Who benefits from the existence of public lands? Are National Parks America’s “greatest idea,” as Wallace Stegner (more…)

  • 05.23.18
    10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • 05.24.18
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

Everything leaves a trail no matter where it goes. Be a wildlife detective as you learn how animals use their scat and tracks to communicate in the wild! Come on an adventure! Parents and children ages 3-5 investigate science, art, music, stories and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don backpacks filled with exciting artifacts (more…)

  • 05.30.18
    10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • 05.31.18
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

Identify plants around the Museum grounds. As you find plants shown on the scavenger hunt, hidden words will be revealed. Put the words together to decode the mystery phrase and get a prize! Come on an adventure! Parents and children ages 3-5 investigate science, art, music, stories and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don (more…)


5.26.17 -

Kids, Natural History, Art

Capturing Time: Celebrating 35 Years of the High Desert Museum

Explore the conception of time through objects from our permanent collection./p>

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.

10.13.17 -

Art, Natural History, Wildlife

Dinosaurs Take Flight: The Art of Archaeopteryx

Enter the world of Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil that has informed our current understanding of birds and flight.

12.15.17 -


Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

Black-and-white photographs that document the gay rodeo circuit and lives of many of its participants.

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.

Growing up otter



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