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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!


  • 05.22.18
    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…)

  • 06.04.18
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Hear stories of the early days of climbing at Smith Rock from Alan Watts, one of the climbers who developed sport climbing and put the park on the map as an international climbing destination. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.; talk starts at 6:00 p.m. Museum cafe will be open for food and beverages. Cost: Members: (more…)

  • Learn How to Bee a Scientist Workshop
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Some of our native bee are in trouble and they need your help! Join The Xerces Society to learn all about Oregon’s native bumble bees, then get outside and learn how the whole family can participate in a Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas! Learn more at www.PNWBumbleBeeAtlas.org. This program is Sold Out, please add your (more…)

  • 06.12.18
    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…)


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.

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.

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.

Growing up otter



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