barn owl in flight high desert museum things to do in bend oregon We are open! Learn more The interior exhibits at the Museum are open! From "Dam It! Beavers and Us" to the Birds of Prey Center, there's wonder around every corner. High Desert Museum Tickets barn owl in flight high desert museum things to do in bend oregon Finalist for the
National Medal!
We have big news! We are honored to be a finalist for the 2021 National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services! It's all about community. High Desert Museum Learn more
Celebrate the
Mighty Beaver
Learn more Meet the rockstar engineer of riparian and aquatic habitats, the North American beaver! The dynamic exhibit will give you a new perspective of this continent's largest rodent. High Desert Museum
barn owl in flight high desert museum things to do in bend oregon Strap in for
Learn more The nail-biting original exhibit explores the High Desert canyons and playas through famous thrill seekers of the past! High Desert Museum

The interior exhibits at the Museum are open! Reserve your timed entry tickets.

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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!


  • 04.22.21
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

In a visually rich and entertaining presentation, New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed speaker Kathryn Aalto discusses her book, Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Who Shape How We See the Natural World. Aalto celebrates 25 remarkable women with grit and verve whose influential writing helps deepen our connection to and understanding of (more…)

  • 04.22.21
    5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This event is full. If you’d like to attend the next Museum and Me event on Tuesday, May 11, click here! A quieter time for children and adults who experience physical, intellectual and/or social disabilities to enjoy the High Desert Museum after hours. Explore the Museum’s newest exhibits and revisit your favorites. Free for individuals, (more…)

  • 05.03.21
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  Professor of anthropology at Eastern Oregon University, Linda Reed-Jerofke, Ph.D., will discuss archaeological work undertaken in the Wallowa- Whitman National Forest. Did the Camp Carson Mining District develop into a geographic community–one that grew beyond the practice of gold mining? If so, how does this fit with an archaeological examination of Eastern Oregon gold (more…)

  • 05.04.21
    7:30 am - 8:30 am
  • 05.11.21
    7:30 am - 8:30 am
  • 05.18.21
    7:30 am - 8:30 am

Do you love to write, but need help finding the time or inspiration? Join Desert Scribes! In each of three sessions, Louise Shirley, Donald M. Kerr curator of natural history, will share inspiration from High Desert ecology. You will have quiet time to respond to writing prompts and will be welcomed to share your words. (more…)

  • 05.06.21
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Gather traces a growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities by reconnecting to ancestral food systems and practices, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. We’ll provide a link to watch Gather at a time that works well for you, and then join us for a virtual discussion (more…)


9.26.20 -

History, Natural History


Dive into the meaning risk-taking plays in our lives, why daredevils capture our imaginations and the many reasons they have been drawn to High Desert landscapes to execute their feats.

1.30.21 -

Natural History, Art

Dam It! Beavers and Us

Explore an important member of the order Rodentia and the interrelationship of people, beavers and the landscape.

3.6.21 -

Science, Art

Cosmic Microscapes

What do ancient pieces of cooled magma from the Moon and Mars have in common with samples from an eruption of Oregon’s Lava Butte only 7,000 years ago? Discover the hidden art of igneous rocks from Oregon and other planets in our solar system in a Museum exhibit.

Spirit of
the West
Learn More Experience the vibrant history of the West as you explore its people, their challenges and successes. Permanent Exhibits
By Hand
Through Memory
Permanent Exhibits Discover the journey of the Plateau Indian Nations as they traveled from reservation confinement to the 21st century. Learn More
Miller Family
Permanent Exhibits Living historians bring 1904 to life as they maintain the cabin, barn, willow corral and sawmill and care for their animals. Learn More
Donald M. Kerr
Birds of
Prey Center
Permanent Exhibits See some of nature’s most spectacular aerial predators up close: owls, hawks, eagles, falcons and vultures. Learn More
Otter Exhibit
Permanent Exhibits Our three river otters define “play” in their newly-renovated exhibit. Learn More
Desertarium Permanent Exhibits View High Desert reptiles, amphibians, spiders and burrowing owls. Learn More Galleries Changing Exhibits Temporary exhibits on art, history, nature and culture. Learn More
Growing up otter



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