Bend Oregon History & Museums: High Desert Museum, Bend Oregon

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High Desert Museum

Founded by a native Oregonian, the High Desert Museum was designed with the intent to help visitors reconnect with history while understanding their current role and future responsibility.

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  • Artifacts and exhibits on display in over 100,000 sq.ft. of space
  • View an 1880 homestead and fascinating displays and videos of native wildlife.
  • Visit the Silver Sage Trading Store and have a bit to eat at the Rimrock Café.
  • Costumed staff recreates scenes from Oregon life in the late 1800s.


The High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon contains a fascinating collection of wildlife exhibits and historical artifacts from Central Oregon. This Bend, Oregon museum's main building houses a variety of displays, a store, and a café. It is connected via a ¼ mile trail to another building with even more interesting displays including live native wildlife. Donald M. Kerr, a native Oregonian, created the museum, which opened in 1982, to help people understand their connection to the environment.

Location and Directions

The High Desert Museum Oregon is located just 3 miles south of Bend on Highway 97.
The address for the High Desert Museum, Bend, is 59800 S. Highway 97. Phone: 541-382-4754.


The High Desert Museum is open year round. Summer season (May 1-Oct 31) hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Winter season (Nov 1-April 30) hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas days.


Summer rates are adults $15, seniors $12, Youth $9 and children under 4 are free. Winter rates are adults $12, seniors $10, youth $7 and children under 4 are free.


Exhibits include live native wildlife such as birds of prey, wild cats, snakes, and lizards.

The Silver Sage Trading Store and Rimrock Café are located in the main building, and there is an outdoor play area for children.

The High Desert Museum has an interactive display of an 1880 homestead. Staff members in era-appropriate costumes re-enact scenes from the late 1800s in Oregon.

Other High Desert Museum Resources

High Desert Museum

The High Desert Museum of Bend, Oregon has exhibits on nature and wildlife as well as history and community.