museum entrance plan your visit high desert museum things to do in bend oregon

About the Museum

Plan Your Visit

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

Kids & Families

Explore Together

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


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!


  • 05.27.22
    6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The High Desert Museum first opened its doors to the public in May 1982! Join in a celebration of four decades of wonder with festivities for all, including the exhibition opening of Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee. Our Rimrock Café will be open, and we’ll be joined by your favorite food and (more…)

  • 05.28.22
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Lair is an immersive exhibition created for the High Desert Museum by artist Stephen Hendee. Hendee’s sculptures explore the spaces in which we live, both physically and virtually. Inspired by natural sciences, architecture, science fiction and digital culture, he uses color, light and space to create simulations of virtual worlds that transport the viewer to (more…)

  • 06.03.22
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Grab your headlamps and join us outside at the High Desert Museum to celebrate sundown, the transition between day and night when crepuscular and nocturnal wildlife stir. Learn how a dark night sky free from artificial light pollution is critical for wildlife. This family-friendly event will include telescope tours, insect discoveries, bat watching, a constellation (more…)

  • 06.06.22
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

    Join Beth Piatote and Raquel Gutiérrez as they read from their recent books and discuss the opportunities and challenges for writers of color whose storytelling is shaped by America’s Western landscapes. Co-hosted by Oregon State University-Cascades Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program.         (more…)

  • 06.11.22
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm

  Join us at the Ranch to enjoy tunes of the turn of the 20th century as well as learn fun dances. Experience the new-fangled music machine, the gramophone, and test out your swing and jitterbug. We might even dance a waltz or two! Free with Museum admission   (more…)


5.28.22 -


Lair: Light and the Art of Stephen Hendee

Immerse yourself in a futuristic world of light and sound. The glowing, high-tech world of Stephen Hendee explores the spaces in which we live, both physically and virtually.

1.29.22 -

History, Art

Imagine a World

In the original exhibit, the Museum examines efforts over the decades to create ideal societies throughout the Western United States—from the glass domes of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 to the infamous Rajneeshpuram of “Wild, Wild Country.”

4.16.22 -

Natural History, Art

Vanishing Night: Conserving Dark Skies in the High Desert

Explore breathtaking large-scale imagery of the changing High Desert skies alongside information about the harm light pollution causes to wildlife. “Vanishing Night” offers simple solutions for all residents to cut back their use of artificial light.

Growing up otter



mining days things to do bend oregon high desert museum