Changing Forest

The High Desert region is a complex landscape that features more than just sagebrush. This exhibit explains the role of forests and their dynamic nature in an arid environment. Learn about nutrient cycles, soils, impacts, wildlife and the influences of the dynamic trio: water, sunlight and air in the life cycle of a changing forest.

High Desert Ranger Station

One of the first things you see when you enter the Museum grounds is a little white building with a green roof. It’s an authentic forest ranger office from the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, built in 1933.

Lazinka Sawmill

Authentic 1904 sawmill. See an authentic sawmill that was used at the turn of the 20th century to process wood with an enormous blade slicing through thick Oregon timber.

Autzen Otter Exhibit

The Autzen Otter Exhibit is located outdoors and includes both outdoor and indoor viewing areas. Recently renovated, the outdoor glass walls provide great viewing for kids and those in wheelchairs to watch the otters.

Miller Family Ranch

Stop by and see what life was like for local homesteaders more than a hundred years ago. Mrs. Miller will get your kids to do the chores they may refuse to do at home: digging in the garden, washing the laundry, or cross-cutting firewood. And when they’re finished, they can enjoy playing some frontier games. On the weekends during the winter months, stop by and warm up by the stove while listening to tales of yesteryear.

Blanket Stories: Works Progress, Talking Stick, Steward

Blanket Stories: Talking Stick, Works Progress, Steward was created by Portland-based artist Marie Watt for the Museum’s 2016 exhibition Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression. In the spirit of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Museum commissioned Watt to create two sculptures for the exhibition: one from wood and one from blankets.

Porcupines

Honeysuckle, Juniper and Tumbleweed are a family of porcupines who live at the museum. Tumbleweed is a male porcupine who stars in our summer Desert Dwellers program. His mother, Honeysuckle, and his sister, Juniper, are females housed together in our natural habitat exhibit located in the Schnitzer Entrance Hall, just inside the Museum doors.

Desertarium

Meet some creatures of the High Desert in our Desertarium. Despite harsh conditions, the High Desert is teeming with life. Lizards, snakes and tortoises are well equipped for the dry climate and sandy soil, and where there’s water, there are turtles, frogs, salamanders and many species of fish.

By Hand Through Memory

By Hand Through Memory will take you through the little known journey of the Plateau Indian Nations as they traveled from reservation confinement to the 21st century. This immersive exhibit highlights the experiences of Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama, Spokane and Colville people.