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!


  •  12.14.23
     4:00 pm - 7:30 pm

We’re staying open late with free admission for college students with their ID! Everyone is invited to come dressed in their best and brightest vintage snow-wear for zippy games of Bingo – something we like to call RetroTangoBingo. 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm $10, Ages 3-12 $6, Ages 3 and under free, Members free (more…)

  •  12.21.23
     4:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Bring the family to explore our two newest exhibits, Endangered in the High Desert and Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species.  The exhibit themed scavenger hunt that ends with an art project is sure to be a crowd pleaser for animal lovers of all ages. And, there are sugar cookies to decorate! 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm (more…)

  •  12.28.23
     4:00 pm - 7:30 pm

 This is your ticket to get everyone out of the house in their pajamas!  Did someone say family portraits in pajamas at the Museum, with story time readings for the kiddos? We’re in! And the sugar cookies have got to go… 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm $10, Ages 3-12 $6, Ages 3 and under free, (more…)

  •  01.02.24
     10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Museum begins accepting submissions for the 2024 Waterston Desert Writing Prize. This will be the 10th anniversary of the prize, which honors creative nonfiction that illustrates artistic excellence, sensitivity to place and desert literacy, with deserts as both subject and setting. The submission deadline is May 1. (more…)


10.21.23 -

Photography, History

Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan

Imagine taking an intimate look into the lesser-known lives of wild wolves through the lens of a decorated National Geographic photographer. Set to debut at the High Desert Museum on Saturday, October 21, the travelling exhibition Wolves: Photography by Ronan Donovan offers Museum visitors that remarkable opportunity. The stunning exhibition, created by the National Geographic Society and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, will feature Donovan’s images and videos of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and on Ellesmere Island in the high Canadian Artic. Since 2014, the National Geographic Explorer and photographer has examined the relationship between wild wolves and humans to better understand the animals, our shared history and what drives the persistent human-wolf conflict.

11.11.23 -


Endangered in the High Desert

It’s been 50 years since Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a law that aims to protect vulnerable species from extinction. The ESA is often associated with the 1990 listing of the northern spotted owl. But there are other species in the High Desert, some lesser known, that face the threat of extinction, including the whitebark pine, the pygmy rabbit and the Oregon spotted frog. Visit the Museum’s new exhibit Endangered in the High Desert to explore the past, present and future of this region’s endangered species.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services named the High Desert Museum as one of six recipients of the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

The Museum was recognized for providing dynamic programming and services through community outreach, working to create programs that offer rich educational programming and expand museum access.