Visit the High Desert Museum

Blend history, biology, geology, education and family fun at the High Desert Museum, an interactive space located just five minutes south of Bend, Oregon on Hwy 97.

Since its founding in 1982, the High Desert Museum has fascinated visitors. With 135 acres and more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, it’s easy to find something for the whole family. The museum is composed of a series of permanent and rotating exhibitions, outdoor interpretive areas, a vast museum collection, educational tours, a café and a gift shop. Kids' camps are also hosted at the museum during certain months.

Highlights of the High Desert Museum include:

Desertarium

Say hello to the critters of the Oregon high desert. This indoor exhibit allows for up-close encounters with lizards, snakes, tortoises and more. Museum favorites include the gila monster, king snake, sagebrush lizard, the rubber boa snake and the endangered desert tortoise. There’s a 20-minute "show-and-tell" every day during which wildlife staff holds one of these animals and allows kids to gently touch it while giving an informative talk.

Porcupines

Fall in love with two prickly souls - Honeysuckle and Juniper, the resident High Desert Museum porcupines. The pair share a natural habitat exhibit just inside the Museum doors. Rescued from the wild, these animals can no longer return to their natural habit, so the museum provides them a safe home from where they can entertain and enchant visitors. The spiny couple’s second daughter, named Tumbleweed, appears in the museum’s educational and animal programs.

Silver Sage Trading

Traveling to central Oregon and want to bring back a meaningful memento or gift? Stop by Silver Sage Trading, the Museum’s official store. You’ll find a great array of cards, toys, books, art and more that echo the landscape and vibe of the Oregon desert. Local craftspeople sell their good here. You can even by Silver Sage Jewelry, which is crafted by Native Americans and local artisans, and features inlaid sterling silver with opal, onyx, turquoise, and more.

There’s a lot more to learn about and see! Click the button above to link to the High Desert Museum’s website for more information and a full list of programming.

General admission is $15, but youth, senior, military and memberships discounts apply. Check the website for details.

Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Fourth of July.

Spring/Summer Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May 1 through Oct. 31.

Fall/Winter Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, Nov. 1 through April 30.

Region(s):
Central Oregon
Eastern Oregon
Greater Portland
The Gorge + Mt. Hood
Oregon Coast
Southern Oregon
Willamette Valley

Add to the Discussion (1)

Rick

3 years ago

Fantastic place for all ages. I especially love all the outdoor components, like the river otter fun and hands-on Oregon history areas.

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