About the Museum
Plan Your Visit
Check out current exhibits and daily programs, find directions, rates, hours 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.
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!
7:00 am - 9:00 am
The Museum provides excellent habitat for many migratory bird species. Join Museum staff and volunteers to explore the grounds looking for birds. Learn about the species that live in our area and the Museum’s efforts to make our buildings more bird friendly! Coffee and light breakfast items provided. 7:00 am — 9:00 am $15, (more…)
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Come on an adventure! Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers investigate science, art, music, stories and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don backpacks filled with exciting objects while journeying through the Museum’s nature trails and exhibits. New themes weekly! MAY 24 – BOOK NOW Buzzing and Blossoming Let’s learn about pollinators! We will explore (more…)
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Multidisciplinary artist Justin Favela (b. Nevada 1986) explores the relationships between identity and place while examining notions of authenticity and pop culture. With an emphasis on Latinx experiences, Favela often uses familiar piñata (more…)
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
On Saturday, May 27, we’ll fly into summer with our engaging summer programs! (more…)
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Come on an adventure! Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers investigate science, art, music, stories and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don backpacks filled with exciting objects while journeying through the Museum’s nature trails and exhibits. New themes weekly! MAY 31 – BOOK NOW Stream Creatures Come explore the Museum’s stream ecosystem! Together we (more…)
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Waterston Desert Writing Prize Award Ceremony Featuring Author and Keynote Speaker Dr. Thor Hanson Join us for an evening of literary excellence. Dr. Thor Hanson, author of Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid and The Triumph of Seeds, will speak. Author Rena Priest (Lummi), the 2023 Waterson Guest Judge, will award this year’s Prize winner. 5:30 (more…)
Under the Snow
In the depth of winter, a deep layer of snow quiets the High Desert’s forests. But under the surface, a secret world comes to life. Under the Snow dives into the snow, where voles, shrews, insects and porcupines build a matrix of tunnels to survive the winter and hide from the predators that lurk just above the surface.
Culture, Art, History
Creations of Spirit
"Creations of Spirit" is a one-of-a-kind, celebratory experience featuring the stories of living works of art from seven Indigenous artists. Videos, audio and large projections will immerse visitors in the landscapes and communities in which these objects are used, highlighting the theme of artwork as alive, full of stories and created for specific purposes and people.
In the Arena
Through the lens of San Francisco Bay Area photographer Gabriela Hasbun, this exhibit documents the exhilarating atmosphere of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo—the only touring Black rodeo in the country—and the showstopping style and skill of the Black cowboys and cowgirls who compete in it year after year.
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.