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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.

Education

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.

Wildlife, 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!

Upcoming Events


  •  07.27.24
     1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Full steam ahead! See the 1904 Lazinka Sawmill in action and how lumber was processed on-the-go at the turn of the century. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE with Museum admission (more…)


  •  08.08.24
     9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Writing Ranch and the High Desert Museum are offering a unique weekend nature writing intensive at the Summer Lake Lodge in Summer Lake, Oregon. Daily generative writing workshops, led by author, OSU Cascades MFA instructor and founder of the Writing Ranch Ellen Waterston, will be informed and complemented by morning field trips and evening (more…)


  •  08.08.24
     5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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 exhibitions and revisit your favorites. Sensory pack are available to borrow with headphones, fidgets and more. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (more…)


  •  08.11.24
     9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Writing Ranch and the High Desert Museum are offering a unique weekend nature writing intensive at the Summer Lake Lodge in Summer Lake, Oregon. Daily generative writing workshops, led by author, OSU Cascades MFA instructor and founder the Writing Ranch Ellen Waterston, will be informed and complemented by morning field trips and evening discussions (more…)


  •  08.15.24
     1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Full steam ahead! See the 1904 Lazinka Sawmill in action and how lumber was processed on-the-go at the turn of the century. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm FREE with Museum admission (more…)


  •  08.24.24
     5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The High Desert Museum’s signature fundraiser returns Saturday, August 24! Join us on Saturday, August 24, for the 35th High Desert Rendezvous—the High Desert Museum’s beloved annual fundraiser! As one of Central Oregon’s longest-standing fundraisers, Rendezvous is a testament to our community’s enduring support of the Museum’s mission to wildly excite and responsibly teach. Come (more…)

Changing
Exhibits

4.20.24 -
9.8.24

Art, History

Near, Far, Gone

Featuring extraordinary works by Wangechi Mutu, Matthew Day Jackson, Ann Hamilton, and Kiki Smith, this showcase explores the intricate relationship between humans, wildlife and the environment. With each piece drawing inspiration from the natural world, these acclaimed artists delve deep into themes of symbolism, allegory and human-animal connections.

3.2.24 -
1.12.25

Art, History

Sensing Sasquatch

Native peoples of the Plateau have long known about, encountered, depicted and told stories about Sasquatch. Sensing Sasquatch explores Sasquatch’s past, present and future in the High Desert region through an Indigenous lens. Works by five Indigenous artists will be on view, including: Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D. (Nez Perce, Cayuse), HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull (Yakama, Nez Perce, Cayuse, Cree), Charlene “Tillie” Moody (Warm Springs), Frank Buffalo Hyde (Nez Perce, Onondaga) and Rocky LaRock (Salish).

11.11.23 -
7.7.24

History

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. 

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